Crack on old Vashi bridge repaired, but still shut to traffic
A trailer heading towards Thane hit another trailer at Kharegaon toll naka on Thursday. The driver was injured. The accident led to a massive traffic jam during morning peak hours.
The potholes on the Sion-Panvel highway, which have made driving a nightmare, caused an accident on Tuesday, killing two people.
Eyewitnesses said the biker was riding slowly on Shiravane flyover because of the potholes. A dumper hit the bike from behind, killing both the rider and the pillion rider.
Nerul police has arrested the dumper driver for negligent driving.
The deceased have been identified as Kamlakar Mokal, 51, a resident of Wadala, and Sangeeta Ubale, 47, of Kurla. Both worked in a firm in Bandra and were going towards Panvel.
According to an eye-witness, “The biker had been negotiating potholes on the road. He saw a pothole ahead and suddenly slowed down. The dumper coming from behind crashed into it.”
Senior police inspector of Nerul police station Adhikrao Pol said, “Both were seriously injured and were taken to DY Patil hospital. They succumbed to their injuries.”
He said, “We have arrested the dumper driver Rajkumar Saroj, 48, a resident of Mankhurd, and booked him for rash driving.”
Pol said that prima facie, it seems that the potholes on the road and flyover caused the accident. “We are also taking to the concerned authorities on the issue,” he said.
Motorists have been complaining about the deteriorating condition of the road that was expanded and concretised a year ago. PWD has repeatedly claimed that it is repairing the road and so has the contractor SPTL.
The huge crack which led to the old Vashi creek bridge being closed to traffic on Sunday, has been repaired. However, there is no clarity yet on when the bridge will be opened for traffic again.
Shrikant Bangar, executive engineer, public works department, said: “We have undertaken immediate repair work where the huge crack had appeared.”
He added, “However, such works on a creek bridge takes time to be completed due to the weather conditions. There is also constant rain which is preventing from the work drying up adequately.”
The authorities had said that the bridge is in good condition.
The old creek bridge, just like the Mahad bridge, has a new bridge running along it.
It has undergone repairs over the years and despite the presence of the new bridge, it still witnesses large volume of traffic on it. It is an important link between Mumbai and the rest of the State.
The old bridge was constructed in the year 1971 while the new bridge came up in 1992.
Bangar said, “We are not confirming the date of resumption of traffic as we do not want to take any chances. Once the patchwork dries up completely and the road looks strong enough to carry traffic, we will allow resumption of traffic on the bridge.”
Sources said that it could take around two weeks for the bridge to be ready.
According to Nitin Phadtare, a regular motorist on the route, “There are instances of heavy vehicles often using the old bridge. The height gauge installed at the start of the bridge has been damaged. The heavy vehicles hence easily pass through at times when the cops are not present.”
After the collapse of the old bridge at Mahad on Savitri river, the crack on old Vashi creek bridge has worried motorists.
He added, “Despite restriction in place for heavy vehicles, the movement of vehicles is sure to harm the bridge. The authorities need to be more vigilant.”