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Gariahat flyover shut: snarls on Day 1

The bridge enables hundreds of motorists to jump past the congested crossing

Our Bureau | Published 27.03.22, 03:46 AM
The Gariahat flyover closed for load testing on Saturday.

The Gariahat flyover closed for load testing on Saturday.

Picture by Sanat Kr Sinha

The temporary closure of Gariahat flyover for load testing doubled the commute time for many vehicles that took Gariahat Road instead on Saturday. The flyover enables hundreds of motorists to jump past the congested Gariahat crossing.

Gariahat flyover has been closed to traffic from Friday night till Tuesday early morning for a load testing exercise by the HRBC. Heavy goods vehicles and buses are not being allowed to ply under the flyover to reduce congestion at the Gariahat crossing.


Over the next two days, HRBC engineers said they will conduct two types of tests on the bridge — static and dynamic.

In the static test, engineers find the horizontal pressure of the wind that tries to push the bridge sideways. In the dynamic test, the aim is to measure how the bridge oscillates under the impact of the vertical wind pressure.

On Saturday, many were inconvenienced because of the flyover closure.

Anand Dutta, a resident of Jadavpur, said it took him 15 minutes to reach Ballygunge Phari from Golpark, a 1.4km stretch that he usually covers in 5-7 minutes on Saturday morning.

“I was caught in a traffic snarl at the approach of the Gariahat flyover. The line moved very slowly. I did not know that the flyover was closed. Otherwise, I would have taken a detour through Southern Avenue,” Dutta said.

There were many more who faced a similar situation both on the north- and south-bound stretches of Gariahat Road.

Traffic snarls increased after 4pm because of what cops felt was the effect of shoppers and pedestrians on the roads, forcing motorists to slow down.

Police said Saturday morning was easier to manage because schools and colleges in Gariahat were closed. The real challenge would be handling the Monday traffic when all offices and institutes are open.

The traffic signals at Gariahat crossing, Golpark, Panchanantala crossing and Rashbehari crossing that follow auto-changing cycles were operated manually to manage the traffic snarls as and when needed on Saturday.

The duration of the red signal on the north- and south-bound Gariahat Road was tweaked manually from 65 seconds to more or less duration, depending on the volume of traffic on the east- and west-bound stretches at the time.

Cops had to start diverting north-bound traffic through Southern Avenue in the evening when the volume of Ballygunge-bound vehicles went up.

Earlier in the day, only buses plying along route numbers 80B, 234, 37A, 13C/1 and AC5 were diverted through Deshapriya Park, Southern Avenue and Golpark. Minibuses heading for Kasba and Ekdalia were diverted through Swinhoe Street, Cornfield Road, Rashbehari Avenue and Bijon Setu to reduce pressure on the Gariahat crossing.

One traffic inspector, four sub-inspectors and 40 constables were deployed from across the 24 other traffic guards in addition to the force from the local traffic guard to manage the signals directly affected because of the flyover closure.

The load testing results will be collated and experts will analyse them to determine the structural durability of the bridge. The tests were necessary to find out if the bridge needs thorough overhauling or cosmetic repairs to increase its lifespan, HRBC engineers said.

“Since the Gariahat flyover is an old structure, an assessment of the load-bearing capacity is very crucial considering the volume of traffic it has been handling,” said a senior HRBC engineer.

Last updated on 27.03.22, 03:46 AM

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