Cracks found on underpass of Alappuzha Bypass, to be observed for two weeks

Alappuzha: A few minor fissures have been noticed on the underpass of the recently opened Alappuzha Bypass. Local people had spotted them on the concrete slab on one of the two underpasses constructed at Malikamukku locality of the structure.

As per the preliminary assessment of the senior engineers of the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI), there is no damage to the bypass. These cracks would be monitored for two weeks to check if they are getting bigger.

The inspection revealed that one crack is of 5-metre length. Besides there are 4 small cracks.

The chief engineer and other officials of the NHAI inspected the crack on Thursday. The inspection that started around Thursday afternoon went on for three hours.

This stretch of the bypass where the fissure was found was built during the first phase of the bypass construction two decades ago. The project was delayed owing to a few bottlenecks all these years.

A load test was conducted on the bypass bridge before its opening last week. The NHAI team had carried out a preliminary inspection on the inauguration day itself. The inspectors had then noticed paint had come off. However, hairline cracks were spotted at the nearby areas too and the National Highways wing had carried out a detailed inspection.

Chief engineer M Ashok Kumar, who arrived from Thiruvananthapuram, and Alappuzha-based executive engineer R Anil Kumar were also present for the inspection on Thursday.

The cracks have already become a talking point on social media and several trolls equating the bypass with the doomed flyover at Palarivattom in Kochi which has become synonymous with shoddy construction.

The bypass is 6.8 km long and has two lanes. It links Komadi to Kalarcode areas in Alappuzha along the NH on Kerala's western coast. An elevated highway which spans 4.8 km parallel to the beach with a 3.2-km flyover is part of the structure.

Profometer used

The inspection was carried out using a profometer, a modern equipment that can quickly spot cracks on concrete. It is used to avoid the earlier method of drilling concrete structures for inspection. It can identify the suspect part by using iron rods. This part can be marked and after at least two weeks of monitoring, it can be understood if the cracks are getting bigger.

A profometer test is conducted to spot the location and size of reinforcements and concrete cover quickly and accurately. It is a a non-destructive testing technique.




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