Brace for traffic snarls: Mumbra bypass repair in Thane to roll out from Monday
Monsoons may bring with it unusually louder traffic snarls in Thane, Mumbai and Navi Mumbai. Reason? After several delays, the Thane district collectorate is finally set to give a nod for starting the repair work on the Mumbra bypass road from Monday, which is likely to drag well into the rains leading to increased congestion.
The Panvel public works department (PWD) claimed that the work will take over two months and with monsoon merely a month away, a department officer claimed that rain might further delay the work.
The Mumbra bypass is a major route for heavy vehicles commuting towards Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT), Ahmedabad, Gujarat, Nasik and Bhiwandi. The repair work on it has been delayed because of lack of co-ordination between different authorities.
The PWD first said it will start the work on the 7-km stretch from Y junction to Mumbra-Retibunder in mid-April. However, the traffic department did not permit this as traffic measures were not in place. After the traffic department announced diversions which would be followed when the bypass would be shut, a new date was declared. However, the district collectorate refused to issue a notification for the work until condition of alternate roads suggested by the traffic police improved.
The roads in Murbad and Kinavli near Shahpur, supposed to be used as diversions, were full of craters. The PWD has claimed that these roads have now finally been repaired.
However, this lack of co-ordination between authorities will now lead to the repair work getting dragged into the rains.
A PWD officer said, “The potholes on the alternate routes are repaired. The district collectorate has promised to issue notification for the work from Monday. We will also try to start the work from Monday. The repair work will take more than two months as we will have to remove the entire slab of the bridge and install a new one. In heavy rains, we will not be able to carry out the concrete work. Thus, the repair work might get delayed. Moreover, the area is also prone to landslides in monsoon, so we will have to be careful.”
He claimed that they have already completed the ground work. “We have installed the support system for the bridge and also mobilised machineries. We have asked the traffic department to ensure that not a single vehicle passes through the bridge once we start the work.”
An officer from Thane district said they were in the process of issuing the notification. “The district collector had asked the authorities to speed up the road repair work. The roads are now repaired and we will issue notification by Monday morning for the work.”
Every day around 15,000 containers apart from thousands of other light vehicles pass through the bypass road. During the course of the repair work, only 20% of total vehicles coming from JNPT will be permitted to commute at any given time. The police have also decided to allow heavy vehicles along Ghodbunder and Eastern Exppress Highway during the non-peak hours. Most vehicles will be diverted from old Mumbai-Pune highway towards Karjat, Murbad, Shahpur, NH3, Nasik or Bhiwandi.
A traffic officer said, “The traffic situation in all these cities is already bad in monsoon, thanks to potholes and water logging. The load of vehicles diverted because of the bypass work will make the situation worse. Moreover if the work on the Kopri Bridge also begins in the next few weeks, residents might have to witness a choc-a-block monsoon. We are taking all possible measures to ensure that traffic is monitored and there is no major jam.”
KNOW YOUR ROUTES
Light vehicles: Cars, bikes, autorickshaws which use the bypass will commute from Mumbra along the old Mumbai-Pune Road. This will increase traffic congestion in Mumbra, though this cannot be avoided, said the traffic police
Trucks carrying essential goods: These can take the same route between 12am and 5am
Diva-Agasan Raod: The corporation has planned that if the construction of Diva-Agasan Road is completed early, it can be used along with the Mumbra city road for light vehicles
Get information from the pamphlets: The traffic police roped in JNPT to distribute pamphlets and tokens to transporters. These will have information on the diversions for different routes. Each transporter will get a token with the map of the route he is supposed to take depending on his destination. The transporter is supposed to abide by the same route and cannot enter any other route
Follow diversions or be penalised: If transport vehicles are found not following the route on their token, a case under the Motor Vehicles Act will be registered against them
TRAFFIC MEASURES TO BE TAKEN
300 traffic cops and home guards will manage traffic on the road. The Panvel PWD will employ some of its staff as traffic wardens till the repair work ends
230 signage and 50 barricades put up by the traffic department along this road and other roads which will be affected
Cranes will also be kept handy to avoid any traffic congestion in case of vehicle break downs.
The traffic department has also asked transporters to maintain their vehicles in good condition and operate them on the road only after servicing.
ABOUT THE MUMBRA BYPASS
Constructed seven years ago to restrict heavy vehicles entering Mumbra town, the bypass developed cracks and potholes within a few days of its opening. In monsoon, there is also the danger of landslides on this road
50,000 and more heavy vehicles ply on this road towards Bhiwandi, Taloja, Panvel and JNPT
Vehicles going towards Delhi, Agra, Ahmedabad and Chennai also use this bypass. It is under the state PWD
WHAT WILL THE REPAIR FIX?
·174 bearings of the bridge which have worn off will be replaced
·7-deck slab of the road over the bridge will be repaired or reconstructed
· The uneven road surface will be repaired
· The security wall will be constructed across the bridge to avoid collapse of heavy vehicles from this bridge
·Unnecessary divider gaps will be closed