Cracks on surface of e-way trigger safety concerns

8,000 Concrete Panels Ruined, 1,500 Have To Be Replaced
Cracks have developed on the concrete panels of Pune-Mumbai Expressway, triggering safety concerns among regular commuters.A source in MSRDC said, “There are a total of 1.25 lakh panels on the entire expressway stretch. Of them, cracks have developed on 8,000 panels. A total of 1,500 panels have to be replaced while the rest can be repaired.“

Several motorists complained of bumpy ride on the expressway of late. They cited cracks on the road surface as the reason.

“Speeding vehicles can lose balance and meet with accidents on the crack-ridden speed corridor. We pay a hefty toll for using the expressway. We deserve a wellmaintained road in lieu of the money we pay,“ said a motorist.

A toll of Rs230 is levied on cars taking the expressway.

“Driving through the cracks on the expressway in rainy season is a dangerous proposition. Tyres can deflate anytime, disbalancing the vehicles,“ said another regular user of the expressway.

The 95-km-long expressway connects the city with Mumbai -the commercial capital of the country. Its construction in 1990s reduced the travel time between the two cities. But its poor maintenance frequently triggers safety concerns.

Last month, nearly 30 cars suffered punctures within 16 hours because of potholes near the end of the ghat section in Lonavla while coming towards Pune.Now cracked panels are a big concern.

Panel replacement is a long process. The MSRDC is unlikely to take it up before monsoon.

The source in MSRDC said, “Each panel measures 4.5m x 4.5m. Replacing a panel takes long time. So, we will be conducting the analysis of the 1,500 panels to determine if we really need to replace them or they can be repaired.“

He said, “We have replaced 800 panels. The analysis of the rest will be conducted after the end of monsoon.“

The source said the panel replacement work was not included in the scope of work of the toll contractor.“MSRDC will have to complete the work,“ he said.

“We will be inviting tenders to conduct the panel re placement. We are still preparing the estimate of this work. The replacement work will be conducted in daytime,“ he added.

Source : TOI