In a major reprieve for traffic in the north-western suburbs, the first phase of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s 5.25-km Jogeshwari bridge project, which began in 2009, is now finally expected to be commissioned for use by May 2015.
The bridge has been divided into north and south segments to mainly ease the current major traffic congestion in the Goregaon-Jogeshwari region of the Western Express Highway (WEH) and SV Road. The project was allocated Rs 341 crore four years ago, but in a major cost escalation announced last year, this has now risen to Rs 450 crore.
The first phase of the Jogeshwari (south) segment of the bridge, which is 3.25-km long, will connect commuters from the arterial SV Road, running parallel to the railway station, to WEH. Thereafter, the second phase will further extend the road to the start of the Jogeshwari-Vikhroli Link Road (east of the WEH), a major connection for the western suburbs to the eastern suburbs.
The 2-km Jogeshwari (north) bridge has been planned from Ram Mandir in Jogeshwari (east) to S V Road further north near Goregaon. Its second phase stretches further to Siddhartha Road No. 2 in Goregaon (west).
“Due to technical reasons, the project was delayed for six years. However, now we have taken up the work and aim to finish it by April. We plan to commission traffic by May,” said Additional Municipal Commissioner S V R Srinivas. “Work on the western portion of the Jogeshwari (south) bridge is almost complete. We have been working in a phase-by-phase manner for bridge construction and rehabilitation of the project-affected-persons (PAPs) in the area,” said S O Kori, chief engineer of the civic bridges department.
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The bridge has required the rehabilitation of over 600 project-affected-persons (PAP). Recently, the project gained considerable traction after the BMC took up the relocation of a temple standing near the east side of the Jogeshwari (south) bridge alignment.
“The temple will be relocated to another area. The local ward offices are at present in the process of rehabilitating the PAP tenements on the bridge’s path. At present, it has been planned to allot temporary pitches for commercial PAP tenements under the Jogeshwari (south) bridge. Residential PAPs will be given alternate accommodation elsewhere in the vicinity,” Kori said.
The bridges department specified that no tenements will be allotted space under the Jogeshwari (north) bridge after its construction. “Only one bridge will accommodate temporary tenements under the new construction. We are looking at May-June to open both bridges for public use, but internally we have set April as a deadline. After this, work on the bridges’ extensions will continue. The work is likely to take another year to complete,” the civic official said.