Delhi may finally get its Signature Bridge, which will connect the Outer Ring Road to Wazirabad, in October this year. Billed as the “first asymmetrical cable-stayed bridge”, the Signature Bridge over the Yamuna was first proposed in 1997 to rid north Delhi of its traffic woes.
The bridge was supposed to come up before the 2010 Commonwealth Games. While Delhi has since seen five state elections, the ambitious project is way past its first deadline.
On 12 June, however, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said the 657-metre-long and 35.2-metre-wide Signature Bridge would open by October end.
“The Delhi Cabinet cleared the proposal for the final payment for Signature Bridge. Ninety-six per cent of the work is already complete. Now there should be no hurdles in opening the bridge by October 31,” Sisodia tweeted.
Delhi Cabinet cleared proposal for final payment for Signature Bridge. 96% of the work is already complete.
Now there should be no hurdels in opening the bridge by 31st October.
— Manish Sisodia (@msisodia) July 12, 2018
Sisodia, along with Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, had examined the bridge last month.
The traffic between the Outer Ring Road and Wazirabad currently uses a narrow bridge, and the new bridge, once completed, will take vehicular pressure off that. In 1997, a school bus fell into the Yamuna from the bridge, killing 22 children, after the Signature Bridge had been proposed.
The bridge will also connect the Outer Ring Road on the western bank of the river with Wazirabad Road on the eastern side.
The project was conceptualised in 2004 and got approval from the Delhi cabinet in 2007.
The delay in completion of the bridge has been attributed to inadequate funds. While the project cost has since increased from Rs 1,100 crore to Rs 1,575 crore, the Public Works Department has released Rs 1,244 crore so far.
The first deadline of 2010 was revised to 2013. Later, it was pushed further to June 2016 and then to July 2017 and December 2017.
The Signature Bridge will have a bow-shaped steel pylon with a height of 154 metres — twice the height of Qutub Minar.
Kejriwal and Sisodia were present when the final pylon was installed.
Commuters going to Ghaziabad via Khajuri Khas, Yamuna Vihar from Wazirabad, Timarpur, Mukherjee Nagar and Burari can expect to have their travel time cut at least half an hour once the bridge is completed.
(With agency inputs)