The Telegraph
Monday , March 3 , 2014
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Fallen flank to be fixed by May

The Ultadanga flyover is unlikely to be reopened this March-end, a year after a concrete span between two piers fell in the canal below along with a lorry.

The authorities said on Sunday it wouldn’t be possible to restore the flyover to traffic before May. The 39m-long portion of the EM Bypass-bound flank of the flyover had collapsed on March 3, 2013.

The Calcutta Metropolitan Development Authority (CMDA) had promised to complete the repairs and reopen it for traffic by this month-end.

“The contractors have built the support structure for the span. This was the critical part,” said an engineer of the CMDA.

The engineers will next fix the steel girder, which shifts the load of vehicles to the pillars, and the concrete deck slab or the bed of the flyover.

The temporary steel scaffold sits on the canal and runs to a height where it will secure a new curved span until it is joined to the piers.

“This support structure will hold the steel girder and the deck slab till these are joined to the rest of the flyover. The structure will be dismantled after the repairs are over,” said the engineer.

“The flyover will be ready by May-end, hopefully, ” said a senior official of the CMDA.

Vehicles heading south towards the Bypass from VIP Road used to take the flyover to avoid the traffic at Ultadanga.

The rebuilding work got delayed after the CMDA failed to find a contractor in March last year. There was only a single bidder in which case the rule is to advertise the contract again.

The CMDA floated a fresh tender in May and Calcutta-based GPT Infraprojects got the contract.

The work could not start immediately because Rites, the consultants for the project, had to evaluate the price quoted by the contractor. The green light was flashed in September, almost six months after the accident.

The reconstruction budget is Rs 14.29 crore, more than one-fifth of the Rs 70 crore spent on building the entire flyover. The collapsed portion makes up about one-thirtieth of the 1.3km flyover.

Some experts had suggested construction of an extra pier to strengthen the structure but the Jadavpur University team that investigated the collapse didn’t make any such recommendation.