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Monday, Nov 18, 2019

Brace for traffic jams as Vashi bridge repair work starts

mumbai Updated: Nov 09, 2019 01:15 IST
Hindustantimes
         

Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC) has started repair work on Vashi bridge. It will be completed in a month but commuters will have to brace for increased traffic during this period.

Shankar Dhote, chief engineer of MSRDC, said, “The bridge has been riddled with potholes during monsoon. Because of the extended monsoon, we could not take up the work but now we have started work and it will be completed in a month.”

“Work will be carried out lane-wise. The one lane of the bridge towards Mumbai has been shut for repair work,” said Dhote.

The first day of repair work was not at all smooth as office goers had a tough time as they got stuck in traffic for more than an hour.

Sunil Lokhande, deputy commissioner of police (traffic), said, “One lane of the bridge has been shut for repair work. Hence, congestion will increase. We have asked officials to finish work before time. We have also asked them to ensure that most of the work is carried out at night so day-time traffic is not affected.”

He appealed to commuters to plan their travel keeping in mind the increased traffic on bridge, mostly during peak hours.

The Vashi bridge which connect Mumbai and Navi Mumbai is pothole-riddled, slowing down traffic. Vehicles start lining up at Vashi toll booth and will continue till Mankhurd.

Daily commuters have been suffering since the onset of monsoon as travel time has increased by more than an hour. Vehicles bunch at Vashi bridge and then move at a snail’s pace because of potholes.

There is no alternative to Vashi bridge as it is the entry and exit point to Mumbai from Navi Mumbai.

The existing Vashi bridge, which handles more than two lakh vehicles a day, has a six-lane carriageway. It was built after the first bridge was declared unsafe.

The construction of the bridge started in 1987 and it was opened for traffic in 1992. The first Vashi bridge is a three-lane carriageway bridge and was built in 1973. Within two years of opening to the traffic, the bridge developed cracks hence, after repair only light vehicles are allowed.

“The pockmarked road has added to traffic problems. Despite many complaints, authorities have not repaired the road. The temporary repair work was carried out but it was of no help,” said Anish Upadhyaya, a Kamothe resident who travels to Chembur every day.