Western Railway signs MoU with IIT-B to monitor 4 British Era Bridges up for Reconstruction

The Western Railway (WR) along with IIT-Bombay will monitor four British era bridges in Mumbai that are to be rebuilt. The move is to identify vulnerable and critical areas in the structures.

Six road overbridges (ROBs), over 100 years old, providing connectivity to arterial city roads, are to be taken up for reconstruction following an audit by IIT-B, in which they were found to be unsafe. Questions were raised on the health of these bridges after a portion of Gokhale bridge had collapsed in Andheri. It was then that a structural audit initiated and assigned to IIT.

Of the six bridges, Delisle Road was shut immediately and demolished subsequently; Frere on Grant Road had movement of heavy vehicles restricted until a scheme was finalised for its reconstruction. The remaining four bridges included Tilak bridge (Dadar), Elphinstone Road bridge (Prabhadevi), Belasis Road (Mumbai Central) and Mahalaxmi bridge.

An official from WR said, “These bridges could not be taken up for repairs immediately as shutting them all at once would adversely affect traffic.”

It was then decided that vehicular movement over the four bridges will be continued, however under continuous monitoring by a team of IIT-B, through an instrumentation test, wherein the condition of material used in the bridge is monitored for any stresses or deflection.

Last week, an MoU was inked in this regard between the railways and IIT-Bombay.