Sion bridge, which links Dharavi, LBS Road and Eastern Express Highway, will be reconstructed to pave the way for laying of fifth and sixth lines between CSMT-Kurla on Central Railway. The lines exist between LTT-Thane and Diva-Kalyan. The plan is to have these two lines up to CSMT, but in phase I it will be built till Parel. These two lines will help segregate mail/express and suburban traffic, so more suburban services can operate on the fast corridor.
CR’s chief public relations officer Shivaji Sutar said, “The 5th and 6th lines will be laid on the west side of the existing tracks. Now, the space where the tracks are proposed is infringed by the bridge’s pillars. The pillars will have to be shifted so that space can be made available for laying of tracks.” CR will float tenders for the bridge work above the tracks. A senior CR official said, “The tenders will be finalized in three months, after which work will take at least 30 months to complete. The cost of work above the tracks is estimated to be Rs 25 crore.” BMC will undertake work on the approach roads outside railway area, which will cost Rs 25 crore too. The bridge width of 15m will stay the same. The official said, “Right now, the span of the bridge is 27m with one pillar at 13m and another at 14m. The new bridge will have a single span of 52m, opening up enough space for tracks.” CR will also demolish another bridge between Sion-Matunga which has direct access to Dharavi, but that will be done only after the Sion bridge work is over. The official said, “As part of the 5th and 6th lines we have begun work on building a platform on the west. At Kurla, an elevated track is being built for Harbour line. The harbour line tracks at the ground level will be used as 5th and 6th lines after the elevated work is completed.”