Spadework to raze ‘S’ bridge begins | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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Spadework to raze ‘S’ bridge begins

mumbai Updated: Dec 11, 2009 01:32 IST
Rajendra Aklekar
Rajendra Aklekar
Hindustan Times
Spadework to raze ‘S’ bridge begins

Few people would dare to take this bridge, especially at night.

Bycuall’s S bridge, one the landmarks of the city, may soon see its end. It is set to be demolished.

This week, the railways started scouting for architects and professionals, asking them to submit “detailed dismantling plans” for the 96-year-old bridge.

Railway officials have asked architects and consultants to prepare detailed dismantling plans along with structural drawings of the existing bridge.

“The bridge needs to be dismantled because it does not have sufficient height margins for the new alternate current (AC) power supply technology that the railways are adopting,” a senior railway official who is part of the project team said. “The average height between the track and the structure above it for an AC line is 6.2 metres. At present, the height is between 4.7 and 4.9 metres,”

The railways in the city are converting their power supply system from direct current (DC) technology to the AC technology to run faster trains and to save power.

Officially called the Gardens Bridge — after Jijamata Udyan and the zoo nearby — it links Byculla east to the west.

When construction work on the bridge began, it was found that there was little space on either side of the bridge. That’s how the bridge gets its sharp curves, giving it an ‘S’ shape.

“It was one of the most popular bridges before the JJ flyover came up,” said city historian and researcher Sharada Dwivedi who has authored ‘Bombay — The Cities Within’, documenting the city’s history. “It is a piece of the city’s glorious heritage and it is sad that they are demolishing it now.”

“People avoid the bridge at night as it has a scary feel,” said city historian Deepak Rao. “After sunset, you find very few people or none on the bridge.”