Mon­soon woes: Hour-long traf­fic jams at Kalyan bridge

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - HT Navi Mumbai Live - - NAVI MUMBAI - Sa­jana Nam­biar sa­jana.nam­biar@hin­dus­tan­

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.

re­quest­ing anonymity.

“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.

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