Construction of crucial bridge in full swing

Versova-Ghatkopar

With right of way for the corridor now firmly in place, the authorities working on the Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar Metro have resumed construction of the steel bridge over the suburban tracks at Andheri railway station.

The bridge is a crucial part of the 11.4-km Metro. It takes the line from Andheri West to East, from where it will go to the Western Express Highway, Airport road, Saki Naka and eventually Ghatkopar.

The Mumbai Metro One Pvt Ltd (MMOPL), the Reliance Infrastructure-led consortium constructing the Metro, had to stop work as the 183-m steel bridge was going over a mosque near Andheri station, for which the authorities needed to partially demolish one of its minarets.

After months of negotiations, the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA), the nodal agency for the project, last month managed to secure the cooperation of the mosque's trust in lieu of monetary compensation. "This was the only impediment in the construction of the steel bridge. Now that work has resumed, we are confident of completing the same in a month," an MMOPL spokesperson said.

The MMOPL resumed work on the bridge on November 5 and has finished 122 m of the structure. Once the steel structure is erected, the consortium will be able to lay the deck slabs, tracks and install signaling and telecommunications equipment. Overall, civil work on the Metro is 95 per cent complete.

The bridge is being constructed using a balanced cantilever erection technique. This is the first steel bridge in the city to be constructed using this technique. A balanced cantilever bridge has two well-anchored arms and a span between them, creating an arch-like structure.

The steel structure, which was pre-fabricated in Kolkata, weighs about 1,285 million tonnes and will be constructed in three spans of 61 m each.

The authorities are working on the steel bridge between 11.30 pm and 4.30 am, as the Western Railway (WR) cannot sanction blocks during daytime due to the high density of passengers.

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