2 bridges shut after scare, inspection

The footpath along a bridge in Ghatkopar has been shut, while a foot overbridge in Malad has been cordoned off following a joint inspection by the Railways and the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) after the bridge collapse in Andheri last week.

The footpath on the Ghatkopar bridge was overburdened with utility cables, much like Gokhale bridge in Andheri. After the collapse, which claimed one life and injured four people, the BMC and senior Central and Western railway officials formed 12 joint teams to inspect 445 bridges in the city.

After this, Western Railway (WR) has closed a foot overbridge (FOB) at Malad (West). On Saturday, WR wrote to Assistant Municipal Commissioner of P North ward (Malad) that the FOB, which runs up to the station’s booking office, is unsafe.

Meanwhile, the road overbridge near Pant Nagar, located between Ghatkopar and Vikhroli, caused a scare after it developed cracks late on Saturday. The police immediately closed it to traffic.

Heavy load

BJP MP Kirit Somaiyya took up the matter and a joint inspection was conducted with Railway and BMC officials on Sunday. The footpath on the Vikhroli side of the bridge was declared unsafe as it was overburdened with utility cables and paver blocks more than a foot (400 mm) in thickness.

CR, in a letter to Assistant Municipal Commissioner of N Ward, said, “Water drips continuously from the footpath to the RCC piers below, deteriorating the RCC columns.”

The letter instructed the BMC to cordon off the footpath at the Vikhroli end, remove the dead load and shift utilities, among other things.

After a joint inspection report concluded that only the footpath needs to be shut for repairs, the road was reopened to traffic. “We will provide all assistance needed and act as per the Railways’ instructions,” Municipal Commissioner Ajoy Mehta said.

Besides these, two bridges in Kalanagar and Vasai Road have also been closed after the Andheri collapse.

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