Engineers supervising the repair of the EM Bypass-bound flank of the Parama flyover have proposed to the urban development department that the road surface of the flyover’s flanks be replaced with a new layer of mastic asphalt.
This will increase the longevity of the road, which now bears unprecedented traffic load. Since 2019, when mastic asphalt was last laid, the flyover’s road surface has not witnessed overhauling, senior officials of the KMDA, which maintains the flyover, said.
Mostly patchwork repairs were undertaken using bitumen to level undulating pockets, they said, pointing out how the road surface has started showing signs of extreme wear and tear.
“When the mastic surface erodes, there is a possibility of water seeping down into the concrete deck slabs underneath. A film of water that remains trapped between the road surface and the deck slab contributes to friction when vehicles move on the top and that can be dangerous for the flyover,” said a senior engineer overseeing the maintenance of the Parama flyover.
Engineers said they should have a week’s closure to remove the road surface of the Parama flyover and relay it with mastic asphalt.
The police and others should understand why this closure is vital for the load-bearing capacity of the structure, they said.
The 7.5-kilometre-long flyover has been witnessing close to a 40 per cent rise in vehicular load since it was connected to the AJC Bose Road flyover in 2019 with a ramp, senior officers managing traffic in Lalbazar said.
The urban development department has engaged a Navi Mumbai-based company to scan the structure, which was inaugurated in 2015, and identify the areas that need immediate attention.
Since last week, a team of engineers from the KMDA has begun repairing stretches of the flyover’s ramp that brings vehicles from Park Circus towards the EM Bypass.
The police had offered a closure from 11pm to 5am for a day and engineers have said they will need a similar closure for another few days soon to complete the repair work they have undertaken.
The repair of the Bypass-bound flank will be followed by the one that brings vehicles from Parama towards Park Circus, engineers said adding that even that would be patchwork repairs aimed at offering a quick-fix solution.
“The urban development department will have to draw up a budget for this work and then decide how to go about it. The work can only happen after the monsoon departs,” the engineer said.
Senior police officers said they would have to draw up a detailed diversion plan keeping the Park Circus connector in the centre of the plan if it becomes necessary to offer a week’s closure of the flyover to make way for relaying of the road.
“We are presently focusing on the festive season. Once a proposal comes from the KMDA, we will sit down and decide,” said a senior police officer.