State PWD officials had a meeting with their Railways counterparts over demolishing a portion of the Majerhat bridge that runs over rail tracks.
PWD is the nodal agency responsible for pulling down the old bridge and constructing a new one. It has sought permission from the Railways for demolishing the part of the bridge that runs above the tracks. Work would start as soon as it gets the nod.
Sources said, measures have to be taken during demolition of this portion as trains will be plying underneath the bridge. Double or triple steel mesh would be placed under the girders but it would also be ensured that these do not come in contact with railway wires, he said.
Chief minister Mamata Banerjee has already fixed a one-year deadline for bringing down the old structure and constructing a new one in its place. PWD has thus undertaken the work at breakneck pace.
To begin with, PWD has brought equipment from Mumbai for demolishing the bridge. According to PWD sources, an agency from Mumbai has been engaged for the bringing down the damaged portion of the bridge. For this, four crushers have been pressed into service. The demolition of the bridge’s damaged portion was on Thursday started under the supervision of the PWD chief engineer.
It will take around seven days to break one span and 14 days to bring down the two spans.
Simultaneously, efforts are on to draft the plans of the new bridge. “The new bridge would have to be constructed in such a way so that it would not develop load fatigue after 50 years. It will obviously be wider than the current bridge and is being planned taking into consideration the vehicular traffic.
“When the bridge was thrown open to public in 1964, it registered a load of 34,000 vehicles and prior to the collapse, it handled around 1.2 lakh vehicles,” said a source.