In a strategic move to enable the launch of a critical girder for the under-construction Gokhale Bridge, which connects SV Road and the Western Express Highway at Andheri, Western Railways is set to suspend train services in Mumbai for a period of 20 days starting from November 27. The decision was reported by the Times of India, although specific details about the affected train services are yet to be released by Western Railways.
To mitigate the impact on train services, the planned blocks will be executed during the night, according to Chief Public Relations Officer (CPRO) of Western Railway, Sumit Thakur. “We will undertake the blocks during the night so that it has minimal impact on the train services,” stated Thakur.
The focus of this suspension is to allow the launch of a 90-meter girder for the Gokhale Bridge, making it the second-largest railway bridge in Mumbai. Each girder for the bridge has been meticulously assembled at the construction site. The launch of the girder, scheduled at a height of 25 meters from the ground level, will involve lifting the 1,300-tonne structure with the assistance of a special crane.
Gokhale Bridge Overview:
Background: Constructed in 1975, the Gokhale Bridge spans 80 meters in length and 25 meters in width. The ongoing project involves the construction of a new road overbridge at an estimated cost of approximately ₹90 crore.
Timeline: The Western Railway initiated the demolition of the bridge in December 2022, completing the process in four months. The final girder was taken down in March 2023. The bridge was closed in November 2022 after an inspection revealed severe distress in various elements due to corrosion over the years.
Reconstruction: The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) declared the bridge unsafe and opted for reconstruction. Despite an initial deadline of November 2023, the BMC is planning to open the bridge partially in February 2024.
Past Incidents: In July 2018, a section of the Gokhale Bridge pavement collapsed due to heavy corrosion and overload, prompting authorities to address the structural issues.
Impact on Train Services:
Apart from the 20-day suspension starting November 27 for the girder launch, Western Railway announced the cancellation of several trains between Valsad and Dungri for two hours on November 23. The disruption is attributed to the launch of a girder for a railway overbridge, affecting train services between 11:10 AM to 1:10 PM.
The concerted efforts by Western Railways align with the broader objectives of enhancing railway infrastructure and urban development in Mumbai. The strategic planning, including night-time blocks and meticulous construction processes, aims to ensure minimal disruption to regular train services while advancing crucial infrastructure projects for the city’s future.