MUMBAI: Andheri‘s Gokhale bridge made news once again on Monday morning when C D Barfiwala flyover that connects with it opened to motorists -and abruptly shut after half an hour. The connector is now slated to open on July 4 at 5pm.
BMC said the plastic barricades on the flyover had been removed by unknown persons and they will launch an inquiry into the issue.
Traffic police sources said some members of the public had thrown it open. “As work is not complete, we had to stop traffic movement on the bridge,” said an officer.
The misalignment of the Barfiwala flyover with Gokhale bridge had drawn sharp criticism when it came to light in Feb-the day a reconstructed arm of Gokhale bridge opened to motorists.

Barfiwala flyover was shut since that day to rectify the alignment. Locals were happy it was opened on July 1, as promised by BMC. Their happiness was short-lived.
Additional municipal commissioner Abhijit Bangar said, “I will ask the deputy municipal commissioner to inquire who removed these barricades. We will be opening the connector on July 4. The load test report shows the bridge is structurally safe and we have also received a letter from VJTI to the effect,” he said.

july 4

Officials said the Barfiwala flyover, once open, can be used only by light vehicles. They said the reason is that it connects with the partially opened Gokhale bridge which permits light vehicles to ply to avoid load on the structure for commuter safety as it is being used for two-way traffic.
The traffic department had written to BMC asking it to fulfil certain requirements before the Barfiwala connector could be thrown open to motorists. The letter, dated June 30, asked for safety infrastructure such as a traffic signal at the location where the Barfiwala connector and Gokhale bridge meet. The letter asked for a speed breaker, a pedestrian crossing and a stop line to be constructed around 35 feet from the start of the Barfiwala flyover, at Mayor Hall signal, to the location where it connects with Gokhale bridge.

towards Juhu

Locals said it was difficult to believe the barricades could be removed by the public and it was likely there was miscommunication between authorities. The entire Gokhale bridge is proposed to be opened in March 2025. This is also when the second arm of Barfiwala flyover would be ready.
Meanwhile, BMC is likely to build a staircase for pedestrians for East-West connectivity in Andheri.
It may be recalled that in Nov 2023 when MLA Aaditya Thackeray had forced open Lower Parel’s Delisle bridge, BMC had registered an FIR.