Can unsafe Ghatkopar bridge be opened? BMC to ask IIT-B experts
The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has decided to seek a second opinion from the Indian Institute of Technology-Bombay (IIT-B) on whether an unsafe bridge over a nullah on the busy Andheri-Ghatkopar link road should be kept shut or can be opened for some time. The bridge, declared ‘beyond repairable’ by BMC, was closed on Friday, leaving commuters stuck in traffic for hours.
The bridge over Laxmi Baug nullah at Ghatkopar depot connects to the Eastern Express Highway (EEH).
The civic body had ordered a re-audit of 296 bridges in the city after the Himalaya bridge collapsed on March 14, killing seven people. Although a previous audit had recommended major repairs for the bridge over Laxmi Baug nullah, the re-audit found the 15.25-m long and 23-m wide structure was beyond repairs.
The sudden decision to shut it, however, affected traffic movement on LBS Marg on Friday. “We had written to the traffic department about closing this bridge on May 25. We had asked them to find an alternate route before May 29. After we got no response from them, we decided to shut it as per the bridge department’s notice,” said Bhagyashree Kapse, assistant municipal corporator (AMC), N ward.
However, now, BMC is trying to get a second opinion on the matter. Vijay Singhal, additional municipal commissioner, in-charge of bridges department said, “We’re taking a second opinion from IIT-B for this bridge.”
The re-audit after the Himalaya bridge collapse found that there are 29 bridges in the city which are beyond repair and have to re-constructed.