MUMBAI: The island city could get its first cable-stayed rail overbridge (ROB) at Mahalaxmi. The proposed bridge may start from the lane parallel to New Shirin Talkies at Jacob Circle (Saat Rasta) to Dr E Moses Road near the racecourse. The plan for the bridge, which would run over the railway line, is currently awaiting sanction from railway officials. The project cost is estimated at Rs 80-90 crore.
BMC officials said the need for such a bridge was felt as the existing Mahalaxmi ROB is highly congested. Civic officials also pointed out that large residential complexes that have come up on chunks of erswhile textile mill land have seen traffic multiply on the stretch.
"The Mahalaxmi ROB, which was constructed in 1920, has become overcrowded over time. Another bridge on this stretch is therefore critical. We plan to expand the DP (development plan) road beside New Shirin Talkies. The proposed structure would then go over the railway line and touch down at Dr E Moses Road near the Mahalaxmi racecourse. As we cannot make use of any pillars, given that it is proposed over a railway line, we plan to construct a cable-stayed bridge," said a senior civic official.
A cable-stayed bridge has one or more towers (or pylons), from which cables support the bridge deck. A distinctive feature are the cables which run directly from the tower to the deck, normally forming a fan-like pattern or a series of parallel lines. It is learned that civic officials are also looking at this bridge as an alternative which could be used in case they plan to reconstruct the Mahalaxmi ROB in future. "The Mahalaxmi ROB is almost 100 years old now and may therefore require reconstruction in future. Therefore, we are even looking at this as an alternative," said the official.
Mahim-based transport activist Ashok Datar said that a new bridge could be useful but only if public transport like BEST buses are encouraged over it. "There is so much traffic on the Mahalaxmi ROB and therefore another bridge will help distribute it. However, the BMC needs much clearer objectives and must give priority for buses on the bridge," said Datar.
When contacted, BMC chief engineer (bridges) S O Korri he said the civic body has already submitted its plans to the railways for sanction. "We are in the process of planning the cable-stayed bridge. It will start from an existing DP road, which will be expanded for construction of the four-lane bridge," said Korri.
Meanwhile, there are plans for another ROB on the other side of the railway station but they are at a nascent stage, he added.
Source - Times Of India