IIT team discovers serious flaws in Palarivattom flyover works

Repair in two phases; traffic to be banned for another three months after monsoon

Published - May 06, 2019 01:18 am IST - Kochi

Taking stock:  IIT team inspecting repair works on the potholed Palarivattom flyover on Sunday.

Taking stock: IIT team inspecting repair works on the potholed Palarivattom flyover on Sunday.

Major errors during the construction phase resulted in formation of cracks within girders and pillar (pier) caps of Palarivattom flyover on NH 66 Bypass. Traffic would have to be banned for another three-month period after the monsoon to rehabilitate the flyover, structural engineers from IIT Chennai said here on Sunday, following a detailed inspection of the flyover which is undergoing month-long repair works.

The team was led by P. Alagusundara Moorthy, Professor of Structural Engineering Laboratory, Department of Civil Engineering in the IIT. The team will supervise the ongoing repair and rehabilitation works of the structure which was built in 2016 by Roads and Bridges Development Corporation of Kerala Limited (RBDCK), a subsidiary of the Public Works Department (PWD).

Traffic over the flyover has been banned for a 30-day period till May end for replacing the deck-continuity expansion joints, which caused a bumpy ride for motorists, with conventional strip-seal joints. The flyover will also be resurfaced during the time span.

The cracks over girders and pier caps, caused primarily due to inadequate usage of cement and steel, will be rectified using Carbon Fibre Reinforced Polymer (CFRP) method, also known as Carbon Fibre Wrappings.

The second phase of the rehabilitation works will be done for a three-month period after the monsoon, from September.

The modern CFRP technology was chosen since the conventional method of rehabilitating the structure will take upto nine months. The advantage of this is that the reinforcement using CFRP will not result in additional weight over the pillars and piles, it is learnt.

Minister for Public Works G. Sudhakaran had stated here on Saturday after an inspection of the damaged structure that administrative and professional lapses by officials of RBDCK and Kitco (the project’s design and technical consultant), coupled with apathy of the previous UDF government, led to the flyover getting ridden with potholes and its expansion joints developing problems within months of its inauguration in October 2016. This also caused dozens of accidents, mainly involving two-wheelers.

The slack supervision by both the agencies, coupled with unscrupulous practices like inadequate usage of cement and steel, which reek of corruption led to the flyover developing cracks as well, he said. The cracks were detected in October 2018 by a team of the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways.

Mr. Sudhakaran pin-pointedly blamed Kitco for not giving due care to the design and other critical parameters of the flyover that was readied by New Delhi-based contracting firm RDS Projects Ltd.

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