MUMBAI (Metro Rail & Steel): In a bid to facilitate the construction of the Gokhale bridge connecting SV Road and Western Express Highway at Andheri, Mumbai’s Western Railway (WR) is set to initiate a three-hour night block in December. The night block, scheduled to commence in the first week of December and last for approximately 20 days, aims to enable the launching of a girder crucial for the ongoing bridge construction.
While specific details regarding the affected train services are yet to be disclosed, WR has assured that the night block will solely occur during the planned block period, ensuring no disruptions to regular train services during the day. The focus of the upcoming construction phase revolves around launching the girder for the south carriageway of the Gokhale bridge after the successful girder launch for the north carriageway in October. The girder span for the bridge is an impressive 90 meters, marking it as the city’s second-largest railway bridge girder. Each girder, weighing around 1,300 tonnes, has been meticulously assembled on-site and will be maneuvered for assembly at a height of 25 meters from the ground using a specially designed crane.
Originally built in 1975, the Gokhale bridge holds dimensions of 80 meters in length and 25 meters in width. The reconstruction of the new road overbridge is estimated to cost approximately Rs 90 crore. Despite the initial deadline set for November 2023, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) plans for a partial opening of the bridge in February 2024.
The reconstruction process commenced in December 2022, with the WR completing the demolition in a span of four months, concluding in March this year. The decision to reconstruct the bridge stemmed from a detailed inspection that revealed significant distress and corrosion in various structural elements, including RCC columns, tie beams, girders, deck slabs, and bearings. The deteriorating condition of the bridge became evident in July 2018 when its pavement collapsed due to corrosion and overloading, surpassing the designed load by 44.4 percent, as indicated by the commissioner of railway safety’s findings.