Gokhale bridge and the Barfiwala flyover are misaligned by 1.5 metres, It allows motorists to use only one arm of the bridge.
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Mahiyar Rohinton Patel, Pune

The Gopal Krishna Gokhale bridge after more than 15 months of construction has finally opened to commuters, but there is a problem; one section of the bridge which would connect to the C D Barfiwala flyover is misaligned by 1.5 metres. The Barfiwala flyover brings vehicular traffic from Juhu and its surrounding areas directly onto Gokhale bridge avoiding the extremely congested S V road below. 

The bridge is a very important part of the city’s civil infrastructure as it connects eastern and western Andheri to each other and acts as a decongestant for the primary roads of the western suburbs of the city. The bridge was built in 1975 and partially collapsed in 2018, killing two people. It was kept open until September 2022, where in a routine audit it was found that the pillars had been corroded over the years, it was declared unsafe in November of the same year and work started to rebuild it.

The BMC has largely shifted the responsibility to the railways, saying that a policy change in the railways led to Gokhale bridge passing beneath Barfiwala flyover. Ameet Satam the Andheri MLA said “The policy of the Railways changed and it was therefore needed to increase the height of the new Gokhale bridge”, Satam defends the work of the BMC saying it was one of the fastest projects completed by the BMC. 

Another key aspect is that before the bridge closed down for repair nearly 90% of the motorists took the Barfiwala connector to Juhu and, as of now, it has been announced that it should take the BMC at least until December 2024 to fully integrate Barfiwala flyover with Gokhale bridge. 

So far, only light motor vehicles are allowed to use the Gokhale bridge. 

The inauguration of the bridge was not without controversy as Shiv Sena (UBT) MLA from Worli, Aditya Thackeray in a post on X on the 25th of February, said that the Gokhale bridge had been ready for 5 days and it is not being opened up to the public because the Chief Minister is not in town to inaugurate it. He accused the government of vying for credit. 

The bridge was inaugurated on the 26th by the Mumbai guardian minister Manoj Prabhat Lodha and BMC Iqbal Singh Chahal. While responding to the allegations, MLA Satam said that if the Shiv Sena had paid attention to the bridge over the 25 years it has been in power at the BMC this would not have happened.