6-lane Kalyan bridge delayed again, likely to open next May
Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority cites changes to the project for the delayUpdated: Jun 07, 2018 00:24 IST
Motorists from Kalyan-Dombivli will continue to face a tough time while commuting to Bhiwandi, Thane and Mumbai, thanks to the delay in the completion of the six-lane Durgadi bridge in Kalyan (West).
The bridge was supposed to be completed in January. Authorities said that new deadline for the bridge is May 2019.
The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) cites changes to the project for the delay.
“There are some changes in the entire plan as per the requirement by the maritime board. This has delayed the project. The new deadline for the project is May 2019,” said an MMRDA official, who did not wish to be named.
The bridge will come up on the Ulhas creek, the work for which was given to contractors on March 12, 2016.
The MMRDA was supposed to start the work in April 2015 and complete it in two years. The finalisation of the contractors itself got delayed. In July 2016, the layout was approved by the MMRDA. The work to construct the bridge began after the monsoon in 2016.
In May 2017, the maritime board asked for an increase in the length and height of the two navigation span (span is the distance between two intermediate supports for a structure).
A new layout was prepared according and approve by June 2017.
“All the changes caused the delay in the work. We have decided to speed up work and complete it before next monsoon,” added the official.
Hardly 10% of the work has been completed in 18 months.
Motorists and bikers complain that during monsoon it is difficult to use the existing two-lane bridge as it is congested and causes traffic snarls during heavy rain.
“The traffic movement is affected badly during monsoon between Shivaji Chowk and Durgadi stretch. Sometimes it takes an hour to cross the bridge from Shivaji Chowk, although the bridge is minutes away from the Chowk,” said Santosh Gupta, 34, a biker, who takes the bridge every day to go to Bhiwandi.
This new six-lane bridge will be the third bridge across the creek.
The 380-metre bridge will be an alternative to Kalyan, Bhiwandi and Thane, reducing the burden on the existing two-lane Durgadi bridge in Kalyan (West).
The existing bridge across Ulhas creek connects Kalyan to Mumbai-Nashik highway and ends near Durgadi fort. It leads to National Highway 222 as well as Kalyan-Shilphata-Bhiwandi road and Thane.
Built by public works department (PWD), the bridge was opened to the public on May 10, 2002.
Since then, the volume of traffic has multiplied. At least 50,000 vehicles use the bridge every day, sometimes causing traffic jam up to 2km on both the sides of the bridge.
“Huge trucks and cargos ply through the bridge. I get stuck in traffic almost every other day, and reach work late, even if I start my journey early,” said Pramod Patil, 34, a motorist who takes the bridge daily to reach Thane.
“The bridge is a vital link to enter and exit the city. We have to take measures during monsoon to control the traffic on the bridge as it gets congested. We deploy more police personnel for the smooth flow of traffic,” said Sambhaji Jadhav, senior traffic police officer, Kalyan (West).
He added, “Sometimes, the old bridge develops potholes during monsoon, leading to slow traffic movement.”
Another bridge over the Ulhas creek, which was constructed by Richardson and Cruddas Company in 1914, was shut down because of its poor condition.
However, people walk on this bridge and a few two-wheelers also ply over it to avoid congestion on the two-lane bridge.