Joint, not Crack: BMC says Matunga Road bridge safe for pedestrians

Joint, not Crack: BMC says Matunga Road bridge safe for pedestrians
Following an inspection, Sanjay Darade, chief engineer of the BMC’s bridge department, clarified that the ‘crack’ was actually an expansion joint and that the bridge was safe for use

The skywalk at Matunga Road station on the suburban Western line is safe for pedestrians, BMC said after viral pictures of the seemingly cracked structure started making rounds of social media.

Over the weekend, social media was littered with images of the Matunga Road skywalk, which connects to the station FOB and Matunga station on the Central line.

The images showed a visible separation and bend in the bridge’s girders, leading many to believe that the structure was prone to collapse. The images, however, did little to dissuade commuters from using the bridge.

Since the bridge is maintained by the civic body, WR senior divisional engineer Ashok Khairnar took cognisance and wrote to the assistant municipal commissioner (G-North) on March 29, seeking a thorough inspection of the structure and necessary action.

“The skywalk needs to be audited and its safety has to be certified by BMC as the FOB is adjacent to the railway station and railway tracks,” the letter said.

A day later, engineers from the bridge department inspected the bridge and declared it safe.

Sanjay Darade, chief engineer of the BMC’s bridge department, also clarified that the ‘crack’ was actually an expansion joint and there was no need for people to panic.

Incidentally, the civic body had partially shut the bridge for commuters in July last year after images of similar cracks went viral on social media last year.

Meanwhile, the staircase connecting the platform to the skywalk has already been shut for repairs by Western Railway.

Both BMC and Railways have started re-inspecting bridges under their respective jurisdiction following the collapse of Himalaya bridge near CSMT station last month.

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