The Juhu Tara Road bridge that has been shut for two weeks now may be salvaged with some major repairs.
Municipal Commissioner Praveen Pardeshi said the bridge can be opened for light vehicles after strengthening measures are undertaken on it. However, this may take more than a month and cost around ₹70-80 lakh.
Of the 344 bridges in the Brihan mumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) limits, 296 were audited between 2016 and 2018, and 14 were found to be completely dilapidated, and required reconstruction.
After the collapse of Himalaya Bridge in March, the BMC decided to re-audit every bridge in the city. The re-audit of those in the eastern and western suburbs revealed there were 15 additions to the list, which brought the total to 29.
Eight of these have been demolished already while the rest are being shut to ensure they do not pose a threat to commuters. On June 4, the BMC shut the bridge over Juhu Tara Road and has allowed traffic from an internal road through SNDT College. This has led to chaos around Juhu Circle and on SV Road as well.
Following uproar, the BMC has asked Veermata Jijabai Technological Institute (VJTI) to re-audit the bridge and recommend whether it really needs demolition. This will be the third inspection of the bridge. If experts recommend that the bridge need not be demolished, the BMC will go with that opinion. Meanwhile, a load test was conducted on the bridge recently with about 10 trucks, filled with soil, standing on. The bridge was also checked for deflection.
According to Mr. Pardeshi, the bridge can be opened for light vehicles provided it is strengthened.
“Both the reports are in. For Ghatkopar bridge, pre fabrication has started. Meanwhile, the Juhu bridge will be restored via a concrete sheet overlay to increase its tensile strength,” Mr. Pardeshi said.
For light vehicles
The measures will take five to six weeks, after which the bridge will be opened for light vehicles. “I am trying to push for mini buses also,” Mr. Pardeshi said. The VJTI, however, is yet to officially submit its report.
In the case of the bridge at Laxmi Baug nullah at Ghatkopar, that was shut earlier this month and created uproar, the BMC took the opinion of IIT Bombay who said the bridge can be opened for light vehicles by putting I-beams. BMC will have to create a mesh like structure of steel plates 1 metre wide each, supported by the abutment and pier that are in good conditions. The slab is completely corroded and can not take weight of traffic. Instead, the steel mesh will take the weight. The work will cost at least ₹50-60 lakh.
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