Cracks on Narayangaon bridge, closed for traffic

Villagers travelling for morning Puja feel strong jerk, see wide fissure across road, with a curve
A Mahad-like tragedy was averted at a bridge in Narayangaon, Pune district, early on Wednesday by a timely jerk felt by commuters passing through. They got down, only to see a wide crack running right through the tarred road on it.The bridge is near the Bori Khurd village, over Kukadi river. Elaborating on the early morning incident, Nivrutti Kale, a former sarpanch of the village, told Pune Mirror, “There is a temple on the other side of the bridge and villagers often go there in the early hours to perform Pujas.Around 5 am on Wednesday, a few villagers were travelling to the temple in a mini tempo. When the vehicle reached the middle of the bridge, the villagers felt a strong jerk and heard a cracking sound. The driver immediately drove the vehicle to the other side of the bridge. When they walked back onto the bridge, they found a big crack that had developed right across the middle.When we went to the bridge, we also felt the entire bridge shaking.“

Soon after, locals complained about the bridge’s precarious condition to the district administration, after which it was closed for traffic as a precautionary measure. The bridge is part of the major district roads (MDR) built by the public works department (PWD) in 1998. It was in regular use till Tuesday night but, after the dangerous crack developed in the morning, none have ventured there.

Narayangaon police rushed to the spot and immediately cordoned off the bridge for traffic. Assistant police inspector T Y Mujawar, from Narayangaon police station, said, “When we reached the spot, we also found the bridge to be shaking. Parts of the bridge were even damaged.We immediately brought barricades and closed it from both sides.The travellers have been diverted to the alternate route, which is a longer one. But till the time the bridge is declared safe for traffic movement, we will have to keep it inaccessible.“

Following the incident, civic authorities also visited the spot and inspected the condition of the bridge.When Mirror contacted Asha Holkar, tehasildar of Junnar taluka, she said, “There is a very strong flow of water in the Kukade river. We suspect that a part of the base of one of the bridge’s pillars might have washed away. Since the water level is still high, it is difficult to point out the exact reason. A team of experts from Mumbai will visit the spot on Saturday (August 13), when they will carry out a thorough inspection of the bridge.“

On their part, PWD officials have announced that they will conduct a structural audit of over 2,000 bridges from Pune district.

Source : Miiror