Bridge collapse might delay Mumbai's new airport terminal launch

Last Updated: Fri, Feb 08, 2013 04:11 hrs

A portion of an under-construction bridge connecting the Western Express Highway to the Mumbai airport collapsed on Wednesday night, killing three workers. This is likely to delay the launch of Mumbai airport’s integrated terminal.

Three L&T employees including the site supervisor and engineer were arrested on charges of death due to negligence. The incident is being jointly investigated by the Mumbai International Airport Limited (MIAL) and Larsen & Toubro (L&T), which is constructing the bridge.

An elevated road is to connect the departure level of the new terminal building. So, any delay in its construction could impact the overall project launch. MIAL did not respond to specific query on project delays.

The elevated road, which will link the Western Express Highway to the new terminal, is being constructed in two phases. Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) is constructing a 2.2-km stretch from the highway to Hotel Hyatt Regency and the section beyond that is handled by MIAL. Construction of both the phases is being done by L&T. MMRDA expects to complete its stretch by June.

On Wednesday, a 35-metre bridge span caved in, resulting in death of three workers. "Structural experts have been called and they will examine. The incident occurred on a curve section of the bridge and is a matter of concern. I do not think there will be a time lag due to the incident. If there are no structural defects, all that would be required is to recast the span and mount it. The airport terminal is due for opening by October," an executive involved in the construction said.

"All necessary help is being provided to the affected and their families. Investigations are being carried out to determine the cause of the incident," L&T said in a statement.

According to the original plan, the integrated terminal, T2, is expected to be commissioned by September-October. The terminal will initially handle international flights and domestic operations will commence the next year.

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