British-era Amrutanjan Bridge on e-way to be razed

MSRDC to make the most of absence of traffic; 190-year-old structure to be demolished before lockdown ends

April 04, 2020 01:08 am | Updated 01:08 am IST - Pune

Bottleneck:  The bridge has been the cause of traffic snarls on the e-way.

Bottleneck: The bridge has been the cause of traffic snarls on the e-way.

Taking advantage of the absence of traffic owing to the nationwide lockdown, the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC) has decided to demolish the British-era Amrutanjan Bridge on the Mumbai-Pune Expressway.

The 190-year-old bridge has often been the source of traffic congestion as well as a number of accidents.

Special permission

The MSRDC has taken special permission from the Raigad district administration and police authorities to raze the historic structure near the hill station of Lonavla.

The Raigad District Collector has given permission to the MSRDC to carry out the demolition using explosive material between April 4 and 14. Traffic diversion signals will be in place on both lanes of the expressway for a 10-km stretch of road.

Construction of the structure commenced in 1829 and was completed in less than a year in 1830. The thick pillars of the bridge became an obstacle to heavy traffic on the expressway, often slowing it down to a crawl near Khandala Ghat.

The bridge was an attraction for tourists, who flooded the area to take shots of the scenic view of Khandala Ghat. It was also a health hazard as drivers in some cases failed to negotiate the treacherous curves owing to their view being blocked by the pillars of the bridge.

In state of disuse

The decision to do away with the structure has been on the cards for some time now despite the bridge currently being in a state of disuse. While the dense traffic on the expressway had put off the demolition of the bridge, the MSRDC has now decided to make the most of the absence of traffic due to the lockdown.

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