Five flyovers across Kolkata will undergo a load test, an exercise that as aimed at determining the load bearing capacity of the respective structures, the state government has decided.
Beginning late-November, the flyovers in Park Street, AJC Bose Road, Lockgate, Gariahat and Nagerbazar will undergo tests in a phased manner following recommendation of an expert committee on flyovers set up by the government.
Engineers of the Hooghly River Bridge Commissioners (HRBC) will carry out load tests following clearance from the police who will work out traffic diversion plan to facilitate the key exercise to assess the health of the five structures.
“The exercise will possibly begin with the Park Street flyover sometime end-November. We will need it for two-and-a-half days,” said a senior HRBC official.
Engineers said they would conduct two types of tests on the bridge — static and dynamic. The results will be collated and experts would analyse them to determine the structural stability of the bridge. In the static test, engineers would find out the horizontal pressure of wind that tries to push the bridge sideways while in the dynamic test, the aim would be to measure how the bridge oscillates in the impact of the vertical wind pressure.
The tests were necessary to find out whether the bridge needed thorough overhauling or cosmetic repairs to increase its lifespan, engineers said.
Officials said a meeting to decide on the final blue print was held between senior HRBC officials and their counterparts in the police on Tuesday so that necessary arrangements could be made in advance. Police have told HRBC officials that the load tests should be ideally carried out between a late Friday night and Sunday when the traffic volume is relatively lesser.
Since the traffic volume on the AJC Bose Road flyover is always high, we have suggested that the load test exercise be completed within eight hours," said a senior officer of Kolkata police.
Senior officials said since its inauguration in 2012, the Nagerbazar flyover in Dum Dum has witnessed a rapid increase in the traffic load. Apart from a few cosmetic repairs, there has not been any major overhauling of the structure. Among the five, the Lockgate flyover has undergone major repairs only recently since it remains the key connector for vehicles headed either towards Dunlop from Kolkata or vice-versa. HRBC engineers said despite the repairs the structure remains critical owing to its age.
“We would want to revisit all these structures since it is imperative to assess their health regularly and assess their stability,” the HRBC official said.
Senior officers in Lalbazar said they will draw up traffic diversion plan after consulting with the respective traffic guards about the possible dates and giving permission to the HRBC to carry out the load tests.