Mumbai: A year after Gokhale bridge collapse, WR changes bridge design to make them sturdier

Published: Jul 04, 2019, 12:09 IST | Rajendra B. Aklekar |

The new design envisages construction of a sturdy steel structure supported on the closed columns with provision to prevent the ingress and retention of water thereby not leading to corrosion

Pic/Sayyed Sameer Abedi
Pic/Sayyed Sameer Abedi

A year after Gokhale bridge collapse, Western Railway has made structural changes in the design of all its bridges to make them sturdy and working on the audit survey of bridges by given by the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT).

The new design envisages construction of a sturdy steel structure supported on the closed columns with provision to prevent the ingress and retention of water thereby not leading to corrosion.

"Combating corrosion has been a major challenge in maintenance of Steel footbridges on the Western Railway Corridor between Churchgate-Andheri. Steel structures in this section require frequent maintenance. Chloride-induced corrosion causes faster deterioration in the severe environment like the one provided by marine coast of Mumbai," Western Railway chief public relations officer Ravinder Bhakar said.

"To overcome the problem, Western Railway has developed a design of FOB with consideration to the durability of the structure in an aggressive environment. The convenience of public using infrastructure has also been given due attention and along with the aesthetics. The new design provides for single column supports on all the platforms except one platform, which will have a double column arrangement. Single column arrangement provides more circulating space for the passengers especially at the stations have a limitation on the width of the platform. Hand railings are also be made up of stainless steel," he said.

Western Railway has already constructed 9 footbridges with a new design at Marine Lines, Mahalaxmi, Mahim, Prabhadevi, Dadar, Santacruz, Jogeshwari, Bhayandar, Naigaon and Nallasopara stations and 15 more will come up during the current year.

Giving details of the audit, he said, "All of 29 Road Over Bridges and 115 Foot Over Bridges in the suburban section between Churchgate–Virar, were inspected by the Team of Engineers from Western Railway and the experts from IIT Mumbai. Detailed Audit reports have been received for 23 of Road Over Bridges and 48 Foot Over Bridges. The Audit has suggested measures like immediate closing in respect of few structures and repairs and strengthening works to be undertaken within a timeframe ranging from 3 months to one-year at others.

Besides dismantling of Delisle Road bridge, experts from IIT Mumbai have identified cantilever footpath extending from the edge of the bridge for pedestrians to be a major safety concern. While Gokhale bridge work is complete, work is on at Kalanagar & Vasai bridges.

The audit has suggested health monitoring for five Road Over Bridges viz. Frere Bridge near Charni Road, Belasis Bridge near Mumbai Central, Mahalaxmi, Carol near Prabhadevi and Tilak near Dadar. Western Railway has engaged IIT Mumbai for said instrumentation and work will be started shortly. These Road Over Bridges will be eventually rebuilt by BMC, he said.

He added that the audit has suggested dismantling of 15-foot bridges. Western Railway has taken a decision to replace these footbridges with a wider deck width of 6m to 12m. Six such footbridges have already been constructed at Marine Lines, Lower Parel, Bandra, Malad, Naigoan Nallasopara stations. Replacement work is in progress at 8 other stations. Till date, 23 footbridges at different stations have been repaired by full/partial closure of structures. The repairs to the deck of footbridges are underway at Grant Road, Mahalaxmi, Vile Parle and Malad stations. The repairs to the staircases is underway at Charni Road, Mahim, Dadar, Khar Road and Borivali stations.

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