Longest bridge girder in Maharashtra almost ready

Updated: 15 August, 2020 07:52 IST | Rajendra B Aklekar | Mumbai

It will soon be used with other girders to build a new bridge at the site of the Patri Pul in Kalyan; work had begun in May after labourers returned

The longest girder is four times as long as a cricket pitch, or one-fourth of that of the Eiffel Tower
The longest girder is four times as long as a cricket pitch, or one-fourth of that of the Eiffel Tower

About four times as long as a cricket pitch, or one-fourth of that of the Eiffel Tower, the longest bridge girder in Maharashtra, at 76.67 metres, is almost ready. It will be used with other girders in the next 10 days to build a new bridge at the site of the Patri Pul at Kalyan.

This is good news for residents of Kalyan and Dombivli who have been eagerly waiting for the new bridge since Patri Pul's demolition. Vice-chairman and Managing Director of the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC), along with senior officials and Member of Parliament Dr Srikant Shinde visited the site this week.

Many obstacles cleared
"It has been a long, long battle, involving too many complications with technical problems, rehabilitation issues and the pandemic, but work on the bridge has surged ahead clearing hurdles one after the other," Dr Shinde said. The total cost of the bridge reconstruction is Rs 778.11 crore.

The 104-year-old Patri Pul that had been deemed unsafe by a report by IIT-B was pulled down in November 2018 with a completion target of 16 months.

"After designs, the tendering went ahead in March 2019 and work began on the pillars in April. We then went to Hyderabad to inspect the quality of girders with a railway approvals team and engineers. However, on the ground as work progressed, we realised that one of the sewage outlets was exactly below the pillars, which led to the engineers going back to the drawing board. It forced them to increase the length of the girders at that stretch from 24 metres to 33 metres. This required a fresh set of approvals, which came in August 2019. Then officials had to convincingly solve issues for required land with local residents near the site of launching the longest girder, which happened by December 2019," Dr Shinde said.

MSRDC and Railways in co-ordination
The girders arrived at the site in parts from Hyderabad by February 2020, but then work slowed down a month later as the COVID-19 lockdown came into effect, and then led to a complete shutdown. Also labourers with expertise went back to their states. "The work restarted on May 15 and it took a lot of convincing and efforts to get the labourers with expertise back from West Bengal, which happened only by June 5. Now the longest girder of 76.67 metres is also almost ready to be launched in 10 days, after which a block will be taken from the railways to put them across the lines," he said.

Central Railway Chief PR officer Shivaji Sutar said the bridge is being built by the MSRDC in close co-ordination with CR. "The railways is supervising the construction and will facilitate blocks as per requirement for early completion of work," he said.

1914
When the Patri Pul came up during World War I

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First Published: 15 August, 2020 07:50 IST

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