PWD finds no structural fault in Pune’s 518 bridges

Haze Over Stability In Heavy Rains
Every bridge in Pune district is in a good condition, according to a structural audit carried out by the Public Works Department.However, the department stopped just short of assuring that the bridges are ready to withstand heavy rains. “I can only say we found no fault in these bridges as per the parameters we assessed. How (the bridges) will withstand the monsoon, we cannot say ,“ said a senior PWD engineer.

“We have toured the district and checked the bridges from top to base, and wrote a report that states that there are no issues with the constructions in the district,“ he added.

After PWD was rapped by the chief minister and other officials for not completing the survey on time for the monsoon, the department officials submitted the report.“It is with the state government,“ the engineer added. For the purpose of the survey , PWD officials checked each of 518 bridges -89 large and 429 small -in the district. The structural audit assumed paramount importance after the Mahad tragedy in August last year, when a British-era bridge across the Savitri, on the Mumbai-Goa highway , collapsed and claimed the lives of 40 peo ple. The audit is a complex process which involves the extraction of material from the bridges and testing it for sturdiness and age, through the clearance of destructive and non-destructive tests. The results are then evaluated. Besides this, instruments are also used to study the bridge.

A report each on all districts has been submitted, and a final report will be released encompassing all the bridges in the state, the engineer RID IN added. The structural audit also included 39 big and 138 small bridges from the British-era.

While these bridges have received a clean chit from the PWD, a private consultant who was engaged to do a year-long survey of city bridges disagreed. The consultant said nearly 10 bridges in Pune needed immediate repairs. However, an engineer from the Pune Municipal Corporation’s traffic division said they had acted on the consultant’s report, and carri ed out repairs to seven bridges.

“The other bridges should be worked upon in another five or six months,“ the engineer said. B G Birajdar, a professor at the College of Engineering, Pune, said bridges that are 30 years or older must be checked for wear and tear every three -or five at the most -years.

“The assessment should be detailed -compressive strength and other harmful elements in the structure should be tested thoroughly ,“ he said.

Source : TOI