The girders (support beams) that will cover the 228-metre gap on the new cable-stayed bridge at Majerhat was launched on Wednesday. The launch comes 14 months after the original bridge collapsed.
Kolkata traffic police put the necessary diversions in place with residents of Behala hoping that their wait would finally end by the first half of next year.
Engineers said that 16 girders of different length and weight will be launched in a single line. Four such parallel lines will be launched. PWD engineers expect the work to be completed by March 2020.
“This is the most crucial and final part of the basic construction of the road overbridge (ROB) superstructure. Launching of girder involves pushing these support beams one after another to bridge the gap. Four pylons on either side of the 100-metre-wide Majerhat railway yard would hold the steel cables,” said a source.
A Kolkata Police officer said they had devised a plan that would enable only Garden Reach-bound vehicles to reach the area from Diamond Harbour Road. “The Majerhat underpass will remain closed due to the launching of girders from December 18 till completion of the work. Vehicles from DH Road will not be able to take Raja Santosh Road because of closure of the underpass. Similarly, westward movement towards DH Road will be suspended from Raja Santosh Road. People are advised to take Alipore Road- Burdwan Road to go towards DH Road. Vehicles will be diverted towards north from the Raja Santosh Road-Alipore Road crossing, except property line vehicles,” a traffic circular stated.
For property line vehicles, this might entail a detour of up to 20 minutes. “Vehicles will avail Alipore Road towards Alipore State Bank from Lalbati crossing, then take a right to Burdwan Road for properties on Burdwan Road. Motorists headed elsewhere in the zone can otherwise avail Alipore Road towards south to the Alipore Road-Chetla Central Road crossing and then take a right to go to properties on Raja Santosh Roy Road and then take either Alipore Park Road or Alipore Park Place Road,” a sergeant said.
Anirush Kajaria, a local, however, offered two alternatives — opening up either Raja Santosh Road next to the Majerhat bridge to the west of Portland Park as there is no work being done there or entry through Portland park to access Raja Santosh Road to cut down travel time. Lalbazar said they will take a decision on this after a careful review. “We do not foresee any major additional chaos due to this change,” said an officer at Lalbazar.
Construction of the new bridge began in February this year, after the intact portion of the old Majerhat bridge was dismantled and removed. Three people lost their lives in the accident that took place on September 4, 2018. The new 636-metre-long four-lane bridge will be have a median divider and footpath on the eastern side.
The bridge, which will be higher by over one metre than the old bridge, will be capable of withstanding garrison movement with tanks and heavy armoured vehicles. This will be the second cable-stayed bridge after Vidyasagar Setu.
Source: Times of India