Sion bridge to be demolished to make way for two new rail lines
The Sion ROB, which passes over CR’s main line, is being demolished to make way for the fifth and sixth railway lines between Kurla and Dadar/Parel in order to segregate local train lines from long-distance ones
Mumbai: Yet another British-era road-over-bridge (ROB) in Mumbai will soon be dismantled and replaced by a new one. The 110-year-old Sion ROB, a vital bridge which links the western suburbs with central and eastern Mumbai, is currently in the crosshairs of redevelopment, with the Central Railway (CR) and Mumbai traffic police currently working out the details of its demolition.
“We are working out the plan and will be meeting the relevant authorities to finalise it,” said a CR official. “When permissions come in from the state agencies, we can start the work within a month or even less.”
Pravin Padwal, joint commissioner of police (traffic) said that a meeting with CR regarding this issue was scheduled for next week. “I will be able to elaborate further on its demolition only after that,” he said.
The Sion ROB, which passes over CR’s main line, is being demolished to make way for the fifth and sixth railway lines between Kurla and Dadar/Parel in order to segregate local train lines from long-distance ones. Currently, the path between Vidyavihar and Dadar/CSMT is completely utilised, and trains are running at optimum capacity. “We will be able to increase suburban train services only after the extension of the fifth and sixth lines up to Dadar and CSMT,” said a CR official. For this, after the Sion ROB, the Dharavi ROB is next in line to be demolished.
The Sion ROB was built in 1912 with two spans under which four rail lines pass. The estimated cost of its reconstruction is around ₹50 crore, and is likely to be met jointly by CR and the BMC. The new ROB will be one single span of 51 metres or so and cross all six lines. Its height from the tracks will be 5.4 metres or more instead of the present 5.1 metres, which will leave scope for CR engineers to raise tracks in the future, if needed, to avoid water-logging during the rains.
According to the traffic police, the main pain point will be the diversion of road traffic. The bridge connects Bandra-Kurla Complex, Kurla LBS Marg, Dharavi and Sion, and over 1.5 lakh vehicles pass over it every day. In anticipation of this problem, sources in the railways said that work on alternate routes had been going on for more than a year to solve the traffic issue before the Sion ROB was closed. CR authorities have stated that it will take two to two and a half years to rebuild the bridge.