Officials in the civic body said on Wednesday that the bridge will be thrown open for cars and heavy vehicles only after April 15 as the repair work was still underway . The exact schedule for reopening the bridge will be decided after consultations with the traffic department, the officials added.
The bridge, located near Kumbharwada across Mutha river, connects the Pune Municipal Corporation main office and district court to the Pune station road. Daily traffic had increased significantly on the bridge in the last few years.The civic body’s expert committee had recommended banning heavy vehicles and urgent repairs of the bridge.
A senior PMC official said, “After completion of initial work, two-wheelers and autorickshaws were allowed to ply on the bridge, however diversions are still in place for fourwheelers and heavy vehicles.We cannot take the risk and allow bigger vehicles on the bridge till the work is complete.This was because besides repairs and strengthening, we have also taken up the work of widening the corner of the bridge at the Kumbharwada-end. About 80% of the extension work has been completed and the remaining work is expected to get over in the next three weeks.The railing of the bridge is also undergoing repairs.“
The extension of the corner is planned to enable buses to take the turn easily. The existing turn is too narrow for buses or heavy vehicles therefore buses were forced to use almost half the footpath.
Meanwhile, regular commuters on the route have appealed that the civic body complete the repair work at the earliest. As of now, cars and heavy vehicles travel via RTO chowk or Shaniwarwada due to the closure of the bridge. Vivek Kulkarni, who commutes to PMC on a daily basis, said that he has been spending an additional 15 minutes on the journey because the alternative routes were witnessing traffic jams due to overburdening.Work on the crucial bridge needs to be completed on a war-footing, Kulkarni said.
Sources said the administration is considering a proposal to allow heavy vehicle’s traffic from Kumbharwada towards district court, however, it is unlikely to get through due to safety reasons.
Source : TOI