Nilje ROB to be repaired and opened in 15 days: MSRDCUpdated: Jun 30, 2020 00:43 IST
Nilje rail overbridge (ROB) on the Diva-Panvel railway route falling on Kalyan–Shilphata Road, which was declared unsafe and was shut since June 15, will be repaired and opened to vehicles after load testing, said the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC) on Monday.
“After a joint visit by MSRDC and Central Railway (CR) on Monday, it has been decided that the bridge will be repaired and will be set open for vehicles after conducting a test to ensure it is safe to use, in 15 days. The repair work will be undertaken by MSRDC under the supervision of railway,” said Nitin Borule, executive engineer, MSRDC.
A safety audit of the 50-year-old bridge was carried out by the Indian Institute of Technology-Bombay (IIT-B) which revealed that the structure of the bridge was unsafe and should be closed immediately in a view of safety of the railway as well as road traffic.
However, when the bridge was declared shut, there was no clarity on whether the bridge will be repaired or be demolished. Commuters had asked the authorities to repair the bridge and open it citing that the closure led to major congestion on the parallel bridge.
CR had, in May, decided to shut the bridge and informed concerned officials of MSRDC and Thane traffic police. On June 5, the traffic police released a notification about closing the bridge and diverting the traffic on the parallel new bridge.
“When the bridge was shut all the vehicles were diverted to the parallel bridge, leading to severe congestion as many office-goers use this stretch. The authorities should open the bridge without delay,” said Anand Mehta, 30, a daily commuter from Navi Mumbai.
“We have informed the IIT-B about conducting repair work. Once the work is finished, IIT-B will inspect and test its safety, following which the bridge will be opened to vehicles,” said Borule.
After a part of Andheri’s Gokhale bridge collapsed on July 3, 2018, both the Central and Western Railway appointed a team of experts from IIT-B to inspect 445 bridges over railway tracks in the city.
The 21-km-long Kalyan-Shilphata Road which connects Kalyan-Dombivli-Bhiwandi-Thane to Navi Mumbai is a vital link and sees major traffic during peak hours. With the closure of the 9-metre-long and 15-metre-wide Nilje bridge, there was an increase in traffic congestion.
“The closure of the bridge and the relaxations on lockdown has led to traffic congestion. If the bridge is repaired and opened, it will give some relief to commuters,” said a traffic police officer from Kalyan (East), who did not wish to be named.