Adding to the traffic snarls of Mumbai residents, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has decided to demolish and reconstruct the flyover at Parel TT on Babasaheb Ambedkar Road, in Parel near Dadar. The BMC issued work orders for the project in October this year, and is now awaiting a no-objection certificate (NOC) from the Mumbai Traffic Police, according to officials from the civic body. The project will take six months to complete and the BMC wants it to be completed before monsoon 2023.
The Parel-TT flyover goes over the BA Road, helping unclog the crucial and busy junction of Parel-TT. BA Road is a crucial connector between the island city and the eastern suburbs, including Sion, Kurla, Chembur and Ghatkopar.
The bridge has been deemed unsafe for two-wheeler motorists due to the high number of joints on it. Presently, there are 32 joints on the bridge. With its reconstruction, BMC will reduce them to four. Civic officials clarified that they will reconstruct only the deck of the bridge, while keeping its landing intact. This will ensure that traffic flow in the junction below is not hampered.
P Velrasu, additional municipal commissioner in-charge of the project, said, “Work order has been issued and permission from traffic police is expected soon. Then the work will start immediately.”
The BMC has been following up with the traffic police for its permission to start work. According to Sanjay Kaundanyapure, chief engineer of the bridges department in BMC, the traffic police NOC is expected within the next 15 days.
But as this bridge is crucial to traffic management in the area, its closure will add to the traffic woes of commuters.
The Parel-TT junction on BA Road lies between Parel railway station on the East side, and busy areas around KEM Hospital and Tata Memorial Hospital in Parel on the west. It is also a junction en-route to the Elphinstone rail-over bridge (ROB), which gives east-west connectivity in the island city to Prabhadevi, Worli and Dadar west, with Parel, Sewri, and Dadar east.
The Elphinstone ROB is among the only three operational bridges that give east-west connectivity in this part, as the Delisle Bridge at Parel is still under construction. The others are Dadar TT bridge, and Currey Road Bridge.
A senior civic official from the civic bridges department said, “BMC’s work of demolition and reconstruction will take about six months. “That is why we are urgently waiting for the traffic police’s permission. If we receive it in November, we will be able to complete work before monsoon 2023, otherwise it will get delayed till the monsoon months, and cause heavy traffic issues on BA Road,” he said.
The traffic police is studying the issue as Delisle bridge is also closed for traffic.
In 2021, BMC had built a connector between the two flyovers of Hindamata and Parel TT for smooth traffic flow during monsoon. The BA Road below these flyovers has been prone to water-logging during monsoon. To ensure vehicles travelling this long distance do not need to cross the flooding- prone Hindamata junction, the BMC had made an elevated road connecting the two bridges.
Therefore, when the Parel TT flyover closes for traffic during construction, it will clog up two crucial junctions on BA Road – Hindamata junction and Parel TT junction. Commuters will not be able to take the Hindamata flyover either, as there will be no scope for landing on BA road.
However, officials from the civic body said it can’t compromise on the issue on safety. A senior civic official said, “There have been many accidents on the bridge, with rare instances where motorists were thrown off the bridge onto the road below, due to bumpy rides because of the joints. That is why we want to reduce the number of joints.”