Demolition work of damaged flyover in Kochi to begin tomorrow

Demolition work of damaged flyover in Kochi to begin tomorrow
The damaged Palarivattom flyover

Demolition work at the Palarivattom flyover in Kochi will begin on Monday.

The decision was taken after discussions between the Uralungal Labour Contract Co-operative Society Ltd and the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) on Saturday.

The machinery for the demolition process is to arrive on Monday. The first step would be to remove the tar from the bridge. A wire mesh will be set up to prevent debris from falling on the road. Up to 35 per cent of the existing bridge will be demolished.

Earlier, studies revealed that there were 2,100 cracks in the structure. Of them, 99 are high-risk ones.

The current girders – horizontal beams that support a structure – would then be the first to go. New pre-stressed concrete girders will take its place. A total of 100 girders are set to be demolished from Wednesday. The pillars, which suffers the least damage, will be left as they are.

Defects were also been found in the spans, girders and pier caps in the middle of the bridge. These must be completely replaced. The demolishing of the upper portions of the bridge is likely to be over within two weeks.

It is estimated that the entire cost of the work (both demolition and reconstruction) will amount to Rs 18.71 crore. Of this, Rs 15 crore will be spent on the construction of new spans while Rs 2 crore is for demolition and Rs 1.71 crore for jacketing.

Traffic on both sides of the bridge will not be restricted, but vehicles will not be allowed to pass through the pipeline-Palarivattom route.

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Thursday said the damaged flyover will be demolished and reconstructed within eight months. The chief minister said former MD of DMRC E Sreedharan has been entrusted with the task to reconstruct the bridge.

The chief minister announced the reconstruction plan a day after the Supreme Court allowed the government to demolish and reconstruct the structure which is at the centre of a political scam in the state.

The flyover, considered a boon to the severe traffic snarls faced at Palarivattom, had to be closed within a year of its inauguration after cracks developed.

Stating that the Vigilance inquiry into the corruption that resulted in the damage of the flyover is in the last stage, Vijayan said those guilty will not be spared.

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