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Kopri bridge work to start, brace for jams

Work on the Kopri Bridge will begin by month-end, the traffic department has claimed that it will coincide with the repair work of the Mumbra by-pass and will lead to tremendous vehicular pressure on the Eastern Express Highway

mumbai Updated: Mar 11, 2018 01:09 IST
Megha Pol
Megha Pol
Hindustan Times
Mumbai,Thane,Kopri
The bearings of this bridge have worn off and the PWD is planning to change them in six months.(HT PHOTO)

While the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) plans to begin the work on the Kopri Bridge by month-end, the traffic department has claimed that it will coincide with the repair work of the Mumbra by-pass and will lead to tremendous vehicular pressure on the Eastern Express Highway.

The traffic department has asked the MMRDA to either delay the work on the bridge or find an alternative so that there is no traffic problem.

The MMRDA said they would find a solution for the traffic problem before starting work, which cannot be delayed further as the contractor has been appointed.

The public works department of Panvel has proposed repair works on the Mumbra bypass.

The bearings of this bridge have worn off and the PWD is planning to change them in six months.

Amit Kale, deputy commissioner of police, traffic, said, “Around 50,000 vehicles use the Mumbra-by-pass every day. The repair work on the by-pass is planned to start from April, the same time when the MMRDA has planned the bridge work. The work on the by-pass will shift the entire vehicular load from the by-pass to the Eastern Express Highway. The by-pass work will go on for six months. We have asked the MMRDA to at least work out an alternate road to ease the traffic along the highway.”

The addition of 50,000 vehicles to the already existing one lakh vehicles along the Eastern Express way, will be a nightmare for commuters.

He further said that the department is working on diverting the traffic going towards Mumbai via 12 Bunglows, while those coming towards Thane can use the LBS road instead of the Eastern Express Highway to enter Thane.

“We realise that stopping the work on the flyover is not a feasible solution. However, alternatives have to be found before starting the work,” Kale said.

The Kopri Bridge will be constructed by the MMRDA and the railway authorities.

A 600m stretch of the bridge, which passes above the railway tracks, will be constructed by the railway authorities. The state government had approved Rs259 crores for the widening of the bridge last year.

Pravin Darade, additional metropolitan commissioner of MMRDA, said, “We will conduct a joint meeting with the traffic and police department to find a solution to the traffic issue. We cannot delay the work of the widening of Kopri Bridge. We have already appointed the contractor. He has already been mobilising the machinery and manpower for the widening work on the bridge.”

The widening of the Kopri bridge was first proposed 13 years ago, when the cost of widening was Rs9 crore. The delay in implementing the plan has escalated the cost to Rs259 crore. The work will be undertaken in two phases. In the first phase, two new lanes will be constructed on either sides of the bridge. During the work, vehicular movement will continue from the existing two-lane bridge. It will be completed in 18 months.

In the second phase, the newly constructed four lanes will be open for traffic and the MMRDA will demolish the existing two-lane bridge and construct a new one. The second phase will also be completed in 18 months.

The Mumbra Bypass

The Mumbra-bypass was constructed seven years ago to restrict heavy vehicles entering inside town of Mumbra. However, within couple of days of its construction, the road developed cracks and potholes. There is also a danger of landslides during the monsoon. More than 50,000 heavy vehicles including trucks, trailers and containers ply from this road towards Bhiwandi, Taloja, Panvel and Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust. Vehicles going towards Delhi, Agra, Ahmedabad and Chennai also use this bypass. The road is under the public works department of the state.

First Published: Mar 11, 2018 01:09 IST