This Sunday’s railway mega block on the harbour line was a special one. It allowed work to begin on the most crucial phase of the World Bank funded double-deck bridge on the Santa Cruz-Chembur Link Road that promised east-west connectivity to the island city. After completion, the bridge will end connectivity problems of commuters at Kurla terminus once and for all.
“We had initially planned to put two girders, but ended up putting four of them. The work will continue next week. The bridge should be open to traffic between Nehru Nagar and Kurla Terminus by February,” said SB Nage, chief engineer of Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC). “The railway is yet to give us permission for mainline,” he added.
Sources said that initially plans were afoot to place cement girders which was then changed to a steel bridge as railway authorities felt that it would be more safe.
Termed as an engineering marvel by National Geographic, the SCLR project started in 2003 and had been stuck in a maze of encroachments and red-tape. The six-lane road would have the city’s first double-deck bridge that will crisscross right from Western Express Highway to Eastern Express Highway.
The delay in completing the bridge has already cost the state exchequer a bomb with the government appointing a committee led by NV Merani to investigate the delay. Information received under the RTI Act had recently revealed that the cost of the Santacruz-Chembur Link Road had exceeded by Rs139.8 crore than the original estimated cost.