Pain for 50 days: Delhi’s Sarita Vihar flyover to be shut for repairs
While the carriageway from Ashram to Badarpur will be shut from Wednesday till July 1, the opposite carriageway will be closed for traffic between July 2 and 26
New Delhi: The Public Works Department on Tuesday announced the partial closure of Sarita Vihar flyover on Mathura Road for 50 days in four phases from Wednesday for repairing expansion joints and concrete slabs -- a move that is expected to trigger snarls on the one of the most congested road arteries in the national Capital and causing inconvenience to residents of areas such as Badarpur, Jaitpur, Kalindi Kunj and New Friends Colony.
Officials aware of the project details said while the carriageway from Ashram to Badarpur will be shut from Wednesday till July 1, the opposite carriageway will be closed for traffic between July 2 and 26. During the repair work, half of the carriageway will be taken up leaving the remaining space for the movement of traffic --- a practice that was followed during the work on Chirag Delhi flyover in March.
“So, during the entire duration of work, at least half carriageway on each side will stay open for traffic movement. This is being done to avoid massive traffic jams,” said an official who asked not to be named.
The announcement comes three months after the two-month-long massive traffic chaos on Mathura Road and its adjoining stretches due to work on the Ashram flyover extension.
The Delhi Traffic Police tweeted an advisory with a map showing diversions and alternative routes for motorists.
According to the traffic police advisory, during the first and second phase (from Ashram to Badarpur), motorists may take the slip road at the flyover towards Noida and take a U-turn towards Mathura Road. Noida-bound motorists at Ashram Chowk should take the Delhi-Noida-Delhi Flyway instead of proceeding towards Sarita Vihar for going to their destination, the advisory said.
For the third and fourth phase, motorists have been advised to turn left at Sarita Vihar flyover towards Hotel Crowne Plaza, and then turn right on Maa Anandmayee Marg to reach Kalkaji Mandir for reaching Mathura Road through Modi Mill flyover.
Special commissioner of police (traffic) SS Yadav said that the movement of heavy and commercial vehicles on Mathura Road towards Sarita Vihar flyover may be restricted as and when required to ensure smooth flow of traffic on the stretch.
“Adequate traffic personnel will be deployed to manage the flow of traffic and assist motorists in using the suitable alternative routes. Senior traffic police officers have been asked to monitor the traffic snarls live on Google map on their mobile phones and accordingly issue instructions to the personnel on the ground,” added Yadav.
A second PWD official said that the Sarita Vihar flyover was developed by Delhi Development Authority in 2001, and its joints required repair. “Learning lessons from Chirag Dilli flyover, we are undertaking the repair work in four phases instead of two so that some portion of the carriageway remains open for the traffic even during the repair work,” the official said.
The Chirag Dilli flyvover on Outer Ring Road underwent similar repair between March 12 and April 26.
The second officials said the expansion joints will be replaced and the concrete slabs will be repaired. Expansion joints between the concrete deck slabs are provided for thermal expansion and contraction of the decks as well as accommodate the movement of decks due to weight of the moving traffic.
Earlier in March, the PWD got government’s approval for strengthening and repair of nine flyovers in south, central and west Delhi such as those in Moti Bagh, near Savitri Cinema, Nehru Place, Andrews Ganj, ITO , Tilak Nagar and Punjabi Bagh.
Suman Vashishth, a banker working in Gurugram who uses the route to go to Faridabad, said Mathura Road has remained affected due to several infrastructure projects in the past few years. “We need to keep 20-30 minutes to pass through this flyover even under normal conditions, and the repair work will make things unimaginable. All the alternative routes are messy and I may have to change my commuting schedule keeping an extra hour for next two months,” she added.
S Velmurugan, chief scientist and head of traffic engineering and safety division at Central Road Research Institute (CRRI), said during the first 25 days, people headed towards Faridabad will be affected especially during the evening hours. “Most of the pain will be felt by the commuters moving towards Faridabad as they have no other good alternative route. The evening peak traffic towards Badarpur is heavier compared to morning hours. The only other alternative route is via Sarita Vihar link road but the commuters will not prefer a long detour via Jaitpur and Meethapur,” he added.
He added that the extent of vehicle pile-up will have to be assessed. He said that besides increased deployment, the traffic police should install screens and use intelligent traffic management system to warn the commuters about the congestion ahead on their route and the alternative routes.