Kidderpore bascule bridge shut to let ships pass

The bridge connecting Kidderpore and Garden Reach will remain closed for about two hours in the morning, three or four times a week, police said

By Subhajoy Roy in Calcutta
  • Published 16.11.18, 2:15 AM
  • Updated 16.11.18, 2:15 AM
  • 2 mins read
  •  
The bascule bridge in Kidderpore Telegraph picture

The bascule bridge was closed to traffic for more than two hours on Thursday as ships passed under it for the first time in two months following completion of repairs of Kidderpore dock.

The bridge connecting Kidderpore and Garden Reach will remain closed for about two hours in the morning, three or four times a week, police said.

Cars headed to the city from Garden Reach will use the swing bridge while buses will be diverted through Coal Berth Road and Remount Road to reach Diamond Harbour Road at the Ordnance Depot crossing.

Garden Reach-bound vehicles will follow the same path in the opposite direction. Buses will be diverted from the Kidderpore crossing to Diamond Harbour Road and then Remount Road and Coal Berth Road.

Kidderpore dock, which has 18 berths and three dry docks, was closed for more than two months to repair a lock gate. Lock gates are used in ports to maintain the water at the desired level during low tide so that cargo can be transferred from a vessel to the dock.

“We have decided to close the bridge to traffic for some time in the morning. Earlier, ships used to pass under the bridge at night. But following the collapse of Majerhat bridge, it is better if the night traffic — trailer trucks mostly — is left undisturbed,” an officer with the South West traffic guard said.

On Thursday, the bridge was closed to traffic from 9am to 11.30am. The plan is to let ships pass under the bridge for two hours from 9am. The two leaves of the bridge go up to allow ships to pass.

People should monitor the city traffic police’s Facebook page to know when the bridge will be closed.

“The port trust authorities will let us know about incoming ships a day in advance. We will update our Facebook page accordingly, giving details when the bridge will be closed,” the officer said.

There was no ship movement under the bridge from August 29 because of the repairs at Kidderpore dock. The water under the bridge is part of the dock.

The bridge used to be closed to traffic at night before the dock closed for repairs. “Three or four times a week, ships passed under it. The bridge used to remain closed to traffic for two to three hours from midnight,” another police officer said.

“Now that the Majerhat bridge is no longer there, trucks prefer using the bascule bridge to reach the port area. If we close the bridge at night when lorries and trailer trucks move, the queue of these heavy vehicles would cross Vidyasagar Setu and reach Kona Expressway, affecting morning rush hour traffic,” the officer said.

On Thursday, seven barges and two vessels passed under the bridge. “Some vessels were waiting to enter the berths. We are thankful to the police for allowing the ships to pass in the morning,” a Port Trust official said.