Monsoon woes: Hour-long traffic jams at Kalyan bridge
Crossing the Durgadi bridge has turned into a hassle, said residents, adding that it takes at least an hour to cross the 10 metre-wide, 380 metre-long bridge during the monsoon.
Constructed by the public works department, the two-lane bridge was opened to the public on May 10, 2002.
It helps connect Kalyan to the Mumbai-Nashik Highway, and leads to National Highway 222, the Kalyan-Shilphata-Bhiwandi Road, and Thane. As it is the only link to these major cities, traffic jams on the bridge are common and often cover a stretch of up to two kilometres on both its sides.
“When I took the bridge recently, I was stuck in traffic for an hour. The traffic police were struggling to man traffic. The bridge is narrow and does not have the capacity to bear so many vehicles at the same time. I cannot think of taking that route again,” said Yogesh Patil, 44.
“Potholes have surfaced on the bridge. It is high time the authorities began construction on the long-awaited six-lane bridge,” he added.
“It is becoming difficult to manage traffic at the bridge. We deploy at least five of our cops at the spot during peak hours, however, it does not make a difference. The bridge needs to be widened,” said a senior traffic police officer from Kalyan, Traffic jams have become a regular feature at Durgadi bridge in Kalyan.
“The bridge is overloaded by traffic from Kalyan, Thane and Bhiwandi,” he added.
“The roads that lead to this bridge, such as the Shivaji Chowk stretch in Kalyan (West) get waterlogged during the monsoon and disrupt traffic,” said Sreyas Pandit , 32.
A second bridge over the Ulhas creek was constructed by Richardson and Cruddas Company in 1914. However, it was shut owing to its poor condition.
The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) planned to build a third bridge across the creek
an alternative means of connecting Kalyan, Bhiwandi and Thane. Construction work on the six-lane bridge was supposed to start in April last year. The MMRDA extended the deadline for submitting tenders as some bidders said they needed more time to plan the bridge’s design.
Later, the deadline was pushed to February this year and the civic body planned to complete the work by January 2018.
However, it has still not started. The 25 metre-wide and 380.60 metre-long bridge is expected to be constructed parallel to the Durgadi bridge, with approaches of 170 and 270 metres.