Suburban train commuters at the Elphinstone Road-Parel stations here got a big relief as the Western Railway on Wednesday threw open a 73-metre-long foot-over bridge (FOB).
Work on the 6-metre-wide FOB was initiated on September 29 last year, the day on which a stampede at Elphinstone Road FOB staircase killed 23 people.
The FOB connects Parel station and new platforms of Parel Terminus.
The FOB opening comes a day after a part of the pedestrian pathway of Gokhale Bridge, a road overbridge (ROB) in Andheri (East), collapsed amid rains, bringing train services of the Western Railway to a halt for several hours.
The FOB construction work got over yesterday and it was opened for passengers today without any "ceremony", Western Railway Chief PRO Ravinder Bhakar told PTI.
The FOB has been built at a cost of Rs 9.85 crore and is in addition to the FOB constructed by the Army recently at the northern end," Bhakar said.
It will enable commuters to travel between Elphinstone Road and Parel stations from both ends, he said.
"Western Railway floated the work tender on November 6, 2017 and the Letter of Acceptance was issued the next day. The construction work commenced on November 8," he said.
Two girders on the Western Railway portion of the bridge were launched in March and April 2018, he said.
The FOB work was completed in record time despite constraints like removal of encroachments, shifting of utilities, cutting and trimming trees and rains obstructing the work, he said.
The FOB is "passenger-friendly" and less prone to corrosion, Bhakar said.
The FOB material is a single skin elf-supported aluminium standing seam roofing system. It is made up of 0.9 mm thickness of aluminium alloy with Polyvinylidene Fluoride (PVDF) coating on exposed surface. This material has been imported from Dubai and has been given curvature in India depending on shape of roof.
"These sheets will have a better durability and will be free from leakages," Bhakar said. "The sheeting surface has been designed in such a manner that solar panels can also be fitted on them," he added.