Old Mumbai-Bengaluru Highway Bridge demolished in Maharashtra

New Delhi: An old bridge built in the early 1990s in the city of Pune in Maharashtra was demolished in the early hours of Sunday as part of a development project to deal with the area’s frequent traffic congestion, officials said. They said 600kg of explosives were used to demolish the bridge on the Mumbai-Bengaluru Highway (NH4) in the Chandani Chowk area at 1am. The planned demolition of the bridge aroused the interest of many local residents. People from the area gathered at a safe distance from the site to watch the demolition drill. After the demolition, a large number of earth-moving machines and trucks were deployed to bring down the suspended structures and remove the rubble. Due to the demolition exercise, car traffic in the area was shut down and diverted. According to officials, police have imposed Section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) in the area to limit mass gatherings at the bridge.

The highway reopened to traffic at 10 a.m. after the debris was removed, Pune Collector Rajesh Deshmukh said. The bridge was demolished as part of an ambitious Chandani Chowk development project aimed at improving traffic flow at the main intersection. A multi-level viaduct is being built at the intersection and construction is already underway.

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“The bridge was demolished by a controlled explosion at 1am on Sunday and everything was carried out according to plan. We pressed earth-moving equipment, nails and trucks to remove the debris from the site,” said Edifice Engineering co-owner. , Chirag Chheda, whose team, along with NHAI authorities, demolished the bridge.

According to officials, it is the same company that demolished Noida’s Supertech Twin Towers in August this year. When asked why part of the bridge structure hadn’t completely collapsed, one of Edifice’s chief engineers said the concrete had been removed because of the blast and only steel bars remained. “Once the steel bars are removed using the machines, the remaining structure will also come down,” he said. He stated that the amount of steel used in the bridge construction was greater than expected. Minister of Road Transport and Roads, Nitin Gadkari, flew over the moving bridge construction at Chandani Chowk on Friday. According to the district administration, sufficient manpower and machinery were mobilized to demolish the bridge and clear the rubble in preparation for the restart.

(Inputs of PTI)

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