22nd May, 2018
THANE : The widening of the Kopri bridge into an eight-lane road will be achieved by December 2019 and will be undertaken in phases so as to ensure minimal disruption to traffic movement between Thane and Mumbai, chief minister Devendra Fadnavis said on Monday.
The CM was in the lake city to flag-off the major road work here which would end the daily line-up of vehicular traffic, time deals and pollution on city roads.
The MMRDA, which is tasked with the planning process, asserted that they have scheduled the work keeping in mind the traffic snarls at the spot and assured of causing minimal inconvenience to motorists using the Eastern Express Highway.
The first lap of the work will include construction of side barriers for the 2+2 lane bridge that will be built in the initial phase. Accordingly, the work on laying the road and installing the girder over the tracks will be done subsequently.
“The major work on the bridge will be seen in the next three months. We are constructing the side walls of the road on either sides first of the carriageway. There will be minimal interference with the traffic movement atleast over the next three months. Thereon, work on installing the girders over the rails will be taken up along with connecting both ends of the bridges where the existing traffic movement may be affected. We have, however, chalked out a traffic mitigation plan with the Thane police,” said a MMRDA official.
Meanwhile, the project has now spurred political parties to embark on a credit seeking spree with both the Shiv Sena and the BJP claiming the work was being executed due to follow up from their sides. While Sena MLA and public works minister Eknath Shinde claimed he has been instrumental in ensuring the widening work is hastened, BJP MLA Sanjay Kelkar also said he has been pursuing the matter with the authorities since 2011.
The project has been delayed for the last several years increasing the project cost from a mere Rs 99 crore to Rs 258 crore over the last decade-and-a-half.
The project will be executed along with the railways that will construct the 65m long stretch of the bridge span over the rails. The deadline for the first phase is December 2019 after which the traffic will be diverted on the new lanes and the existing bridge be dismantled and reconstructed. The entire project will be completely ready by 2021, informed the MMRDA.
The traffic police said they have made adequate arrangements to ensure there is no traffic chaos during the next few months.
Source : timesofindia.indiatimes.com