The old road overbridges (ROBs) on the central and western railways will either be demolished and rebuilt, or will be raised using jacks. The railways need work on the bridges for carrying out conversion of 1,500-volt direct current to 25,000-volt alternating current.
While the Central Railway (CR) has identified seven such bridges, the Western Railway (WR) will carry out major changes to two bridges.
The WR is aiming to convert and commission the DC to AC traction line by June 2011, as by then they would get the remaining 26 violet-white trains under the Mumbai Urban Transport Project (MUTP) phase-I.
“There are around eight such overhead structures between Borivli and Churchgate, but the ROB at Elphinstone Road would require major work, for which tenders would be finalised,” said S Chandrayan, chief public relations officer (PRO), WR.
At Elphinstone, the railways have proposed a cable-stayed steel bridge to replace the stone-made architectural marvel built in 1908. It also has stone crafted lamps on the bridge apart from plaques mentioning details about it. The bridge will have to go, as it’s difficult to lift it.
According to WR officials, the entire process of demolition would take six hours of continuous work, but in order to keep the ROB partially open for road traffic, they will have to do in two blocks of three hours each.
The second ROB that would require major work is the one at Charni Road built in 1921. However, in the case of this ROB, WR officials are confident that the bridge can be raised using jacks at the ends. “If the steel is good without much corrosion then the bridge can be lifted using jacks,” said a WR official, who did not wish to be named.
The CR, on the other hand, will complete the process of demolishing or lifting the ROBs by 2012. “We will be appointing an external agency to study which bridges need to be demolished. We will ensure that the heritage value is restored by preserving lamps and plaques,” said S Mudgerikar, chief PRO, CR.
The CR has already called for tenders to demolish and reconstruct the 131-year-old Hancock Bridge at Sandhurst Road. It has identified seven ROBs between Kalyan and Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST), which will have to be raised before conversion.