Mumbai: BMC Commissioner Urges Accelerated Completion of Gopalkrishna Gokhale Bridge’s First Phase by February’s End

Mumbai, 17th January 2024: Iqbal Singh Chahal, Commissioner and Administrator of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), has issued directives to expedite the completion of the first phase of the Gopalkrishna Gokhale Bridge, a crucial link connecting Andheri East and West. Despite technical challenges causing delays, Commissioner Dr. Chahal has mandated that a portion of the bridge be made accessible to the public by the last week of February.

A meeting chaired by Commissioner Dr. Chahal at the BMC headquarters on January 17, 2024, focused on evaluating the progress of the Gokhale Bridge project. Present at the meeting were MLA Amit Satam, Additional BMC Commissioner (Projects) P Velrasu, Deputy Commissioner (Infrastructure) Ulhas Mahale, Chief Engineer (Bridges) Vivek Kalyankar, Western Railway officials, Project Consultant, Technical Supervision Consultant M/s Wrights Limited, and representatives from both contractors involved.

MLA Amit Satam expressed satisfaction with the ongoing work despite the unforeseen challenges faced by BMC. Technical complexities and the unprecedented nature of the project had led to unexpected delays. However, MLA Satam urged the BMC administration to expedite the work, expressing hope that at least one bridge would be opened for public use in February.

The Gopalkrishna Gokhale Bridge project, initiated on April 1, 2023, faced challenges such as steel shortages, weather-related setbacks, and the intricacies of coordinating work between different contractors and technical consultants for railway and BMC areas. Despite these challenges, significant progress has been made, with the iron beam successfully lowered from a height of 7.8 meters, a feat considered challenging and unprecedented in Indian Railways history.

Commissioner Dr Chahal clarified that the additional time taken was a precautionary measure for the safety of the public and the railway property. The work, involving sliding the iron beam on the railway section and lowering it by 7.8 meters, has been carried out meticulously, ensuring the coordination of multiple agencies involved.

The Gokhale Bridge closed for reconstruction on November 7, 2022, and is now expected to see the completion of its first phase by the end of February 2024. The administration assures that efforts are underway to meet the stipulated deadline and open a section of the bridge for public use while prioritizing safety and quality standards.