Wednesday, July 24, 2024

First Girder of Mumbai’s Gokhale Bridge Set to be Positioned Tonight, Marking Rapid Progress

The first girder of Mumbai’s Gopal Krishna Gokhale Bridge in Andheri is scheduled to be positioned tonight, just three weeks after its launch on December 3. Civic officials report the completion of girder slewing by 14.1 meters by Wednesday morning, with the remaining 800 meters to be finished with utmost precaution by the end of the day.

Girder slewing involves sliding the superstructure of a bridge from one end to ensure the connection of the two intended ends. Since December 3, the girder has been slewing daily by 15-20 meters, depending on daily conditions. The final launch involved sliding the entire steel structure towards the side where the railway tracks pass, aligning the superstructure over the erected pillars.

The open web girder (OWG), originally fabricated in an Ambala workshop, was transported to Mumbai for assembly near the construction site. The Western Railway approved an 11-day traffic block of four hours each night for the girder’s descent, averaging 550 millimeters in three hours nightly.

Once the girder is fully in place, the bridge’s level will be lowered by 7.5 meters to match the approach road levels. One arm of the bridge is expected to open for vehicular traffic by February 15, with simultaneous construction of carriageways and ancillary works such as road signage and traffic signals.

Following the operationalization of the first girder, the BMC plans to launch the second girder in a similar manner. The entire bridge is anticipated to become operational by May 2024. The girder’s length is 90 meters, making it the second-longest railway over bridge (ROB) after the Vidyavihar ROB in the eastern suburbs, which measures 99.8 meters.

The old Gokhale bridge, demolished by the Railways last year, measured 77 meters, while the recently launched Delisle bridge is 72 meters. The Gokhale Bridge, a crucial east-west connector in Andheri, was closed in November last year due to weak structural stability. The work order for the new bridge was issued in January this year.

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