Girder-launching starts for Majerhat ROB in Kolkata

The much-awaited girder-launching of the new Majerhat rail overbridge (ROB) started on 2nd June 2020. Taking advantage of the lockdown period when no suburban trains are plying, PWD, the state agency implementing the Majerhat ROB reconstruction project, and the Haryana-based SP Singla, contracted to build the bridge, are working on war-footing to complete erection and launching of the girders to build bridge deck by June 30.

Around 100 m of the bridge covers the railway tracks at Majerhat. The entire bridge is nearly 1 km, including approach roads from the Burdwan Road on one side and the New Alipore on the other. A span of the ROB that comes within the ambit of the Eastern Railway (ER) fell on September 4, 2018. The new bridge, being built since January 2019 has already missed two deadlines –- on 27 September and 31 December 2019.

The ROB is the lifeline that links Behala and beyond with the rest of Kolkata. The railways has allowed power and traffic blocks for two days starting 2nd June 2020. Around 5-metre of girder-launching was done on 2nd June. Another 5-metre will be done by 4th June morning, engineers said.

The ER will be giving more railway blocks during the lockdown and girder-launching work can continue without interruption. Multiple girders will be placed side-by-side in each span to form the deck, which will be later concretized.

The launching with pre-assembled girders has started from Burdwan Road side, which is the northern end. The superstructure will be a continuous girder system spanning the railway tracks, built with the launched-girder erection technique or sequential erection of the girders one after the other, using high-capacity cranes.

Back in March, the state public works department (PWD) was inching towards launching the girders and would have completed the superstructure by now had it not been for the lockdown. Construction resumed on May 8 after 46 days. “We would have started launching the girders in May itself, but the Amphan cyclone came as a setback,” a PWD official said.

Work for chief minister Mamata Banerjee’s priority project has remained suspended since March 22. Barely a month earlier, on February 28, the project received a shot in the arm as the commissioner of railway safety (CRS) give the long pending nod for building the superstructure.