The most crucial step for the construction of the bridge concerns the engineering structural stability. Nearly a month after Eastern Railway (ER) declined to give the approval to the new Majerhat Bridge’s design – because it wasn’t vetted by a third-party certifier, PWD has got it endorsed by IIT-Bombay.
Professors of IIT-Bombay have scanned the sub-structure, going through every technical information. They also calculated the strength of each of the cables to make sure they can take the vehicular load, which is implementing the Rs 190-crore project. The department submitted the documents and technicalities all over again to the railway on previous Friday. Not taking any chance this time around, the department also got the design checked by LEA Associates South Asia (LASA), a forerunner in the railway consultancy market in India.
Finance department has sanctioned Rs 190 crore for construction of the new Majerhat Bridge that will be similar in type to Vidyasagar Setu, a cable-stayed bridge. The new Majerhat Bridge will be similar in type to Vidyasagar Setu which is also a cable-stayed bridge. In such a bridge, the weight of the deck is supported by a number of cables running directly to one or more towers.
The rail overbridge portion of the bridge will be a cable stayed, spanning across 100m, joined by service roads on both sides. ER engineers said the third-party certification vouched for every essential points of to the bridge’s super structure and each safety aspect of the ROB portion. “We don’t want the bridge to collapse again. Do we?” said a railway official. The Haryana-based SP Singla Constructions, contracted to build the ROB.
Delays due to approvals
After the bridge collapsed in September last year, it spelt doom for Behala commuters, who considered it the lifeline to travel to the rest of the city. The construction of the bridge began soon enough but the work has been stuck in a limbo because the railway, an important stakeholder of the project, has been deferring its approvals, pointing to various problems in the drawing and design of the structure. The delay in the railway’s approvals first for the general arrangement drawing (GAD) as the master plan is called in engineering parlance and then for design has already pushed back the bridge’s deadline from September 2019 to December.
“First, there were problems related to the Joka-BBD Bag Metro alignment. Now, everything, from the vertical alignment of the cable-stayed bridge to the foundation, had to be calculated. It’s a complex work that needs to ensure the bridge’s load-bearing capacity is fool proof. Such things take time, but we are also trying to rebuild the bridge as soon as possible and alleviate commuters’ plight,” a state official said.