Three more flyovers in south Mumbai — the Kemps Corner Flyover, Princess Street Flyover and Mahalakshmi Bridge — will be out of bounds to motorists as the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) will be undertaking crucial repairs on these structures. The only breather is that it will be shut post monsoon, and in phases.
Talking to dna, a senior civic official said, “These three flyovers in south Mumbai, which are decades old, need structural repairs. These repairs are similar in nature to the one currently being undertaken at Gloria Church Flyover (better known as Byculla Bridge).”
Presently, the BMC has initiated work to replace the expansion joints of Byclla Bridge. In all, there are 32 expansion joints that will need replacement.
The work of resurfacing the roads of Kemps Corner, Princess Street and Mahalakshmi flyovers is complete, and only the replacement of expansion joints is yet to be done.
The civic official added that it is not possible to undertake repair work of these three flyovers at this juncture because there are very few days left for the monsoon to begin. Secondly, it is not feasible as well as advisable to shut so many flyovers in south Mumbai at one go.
“The election code of conduct was another reason behind the repair work taking a back seat since the beginning of March. Now, the only workable solution is to undertake repairs of these three bridges after the monsoon, and in a phased manner. These works are part of the project to extensively service 17 bridges of Mumbai under BMC’s jurisdiction,” said the official, requesting anonymity.
Another official who has headed construction teams of various flyovers built in Mumbai shared, “The overall maintenance cost of Kemps Corner and Princess Street flyovers are increasing by the day due to high density of traffic on it as well as their age. Expansion joints being a crucial structural component, its replacement and servicing cannot be ignored.”
In the near future, the Kemps Corner Flyover will be demolished to make room for the proposed and controversial Peddar Road Flyover, which will seamlessly connect Haji Ali and Wilson College. Construction of the Peddar Road bridge is stuck due to opposition from local residents.
At the moment, three bridges in and around Mumbai — Dindoshi, Gloria Church and Vasai Creek bridges — are undergoing structural repairs.
This year, the Kemps Corner Flyover has entered it’s golden jubilee year. Construction on this flyover had begun back in April 1964 and it was opened for public on April 14, 1965. Subsequently, in 1965, the civic body initiated work to erect the Princess Street-Marine Driver Flyover, which thereafter became an icon of Mumbai. The Mahalakshmi bridge came into existence much later.
Starting from 5pm on Saturday, the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation shut south bound Dindoshi Flyover for motorists to carry out structural repairs. The bridge will be shut for another 25-30 days.