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Collapse triggers flyover repair scheme

The CMDA has taken up a scheme to repair 14 flyovers — including a culvert, which is technically a flyover — based on a report of its team of engineers set up after a portion of the Ultadanga flyover collapsed in March.

The committee examined the bearings of the flyovers, structural health of the piers and the girders, and the state of the expansion joints that connect two segments of a flyover. The report was submitted during the monsoon but the authorities were waiting for a dry window to start work.

A CMDA official said a work order had been issued for five flyovers — two steel bridges near the Chetla lockgate and over Beleghata canal, a culvert near Kalikapur on the Bypass, and a bridge each in Beleghata and Kalyani.

“Work on the others will begin soon,” said a CMDA official.

The flyovers under the repair scheme include the Durgapur bridge (which connects Chetla to New Alipore), bridge over the Tolly’s Nullah in Tollygunge Karunamoyee, Ambedkar bridge near Science City, Chingrihata flyover, Garia-bound flank of the Baghajatin flyover on the Bypass and Bankim Setu in Howrah.

“The culvert near Kalikapur needs immediate repairs. Some of the iron structures on the girders have corroded considerably, probably because of gas emanating from the canal flowing below,” said a CMDA engineer. For repairs, Rs 48 lakh has been allotted.

“The steel bridge near the Chetla lockgate had long been in the port trust’s custody. Since it’s a steel bridge, its repairs will be critical,” said a CMDA engineer.

“Some problems have also been detected on the expansion joints of the Kalyani flyover. Repairs will require Rs 1 crore,” said the engineer.

A company appointed for repairing the Kalyani flyover checked the cables under it. “The condition of the cables have been found to be good,” said the engineer.

A source in the agency said this was the first time in at least a decade that a “serious” audit of the health of the flyovers was undertaken. “Previous repairs mostly focussed on repairing a crack or fixing the road. But this time important components of a flyover, such as bearings, girders, piers and expansion joints, have been checked,” said the engineer.

The health of the flyovers came under focus following the collapse of a portion of the Ultadanga flyover in March. Many believed the flyover collapsed because of a faulty bearing, an iron structure placed between the road above and the pier below.

Soon after the collapse of the Ultadanga flyover, a team was set up to carry out a check on a few other flyovers looked after by the CMDA.

“A team for the inspection of the flyovers was set up after the March collapse. Based on the committee’s report we have taken up the repair scheme,” said an official.

“Each flyover will be sanctioned an amount based on the nature of repairs. Ambedkar bridge will need Rs 60 lakh while the flyover near the Chetla lockgate will require Rs 32 lakh,” the official said.

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