Kolkata: The much-awaited repair work of the 53-year-old Dhakuria bridge is set to start from Thursday, state urban development minister Firhad Hakim said on Wednesday. Traffic diversions, however, will kick in from Saturday when KMDA, the custodian of the bridge, starts to work on the road surface.
Initially set to start from last Sunday, the repair work was deferred for President Ramnath Kovind’s two-day Kolkata visit. But after the President left on Wednesday, the minister clarified that the work on the bridge piers and lower portions of the bridge will begin from Thursday and the relaying of the road surface will start from next Saturday.
South-bound buses will have to take a detour from Golpark via Southern Avenue-Boroj Road-Lake Gardens flyover and Prince Anwar Shah Road to reach Jadavpur police station.
Between 2pm and 10pm, south-bound buses will have to take Prince Anwar Shah Road from Jadavpur police station crossing and then take Southern Avenue-Lake Gardens flyover route to reach Golpark. South-bound movement for buses will be allowed along the Dhakuria Bridge during this period. Trucks would be barred on the bridge for the entire duration of the repair work.
“As of now there is no bar on movement of small vehicles along the bridge but if required, we may even divert them along the same route,” said a senior officer at Lalbazar.
A day before the repair works set in, KMDA engineers undertook a detailed survey of the bridge and injected cement mixtures into the holes and burrows created by rats on the bridge piers. In 2013, soil below the 4ftwide walkway had given way, prodding the government to engage Rites to study the flyover and give its recommendations. At that time, engineers had found that rats had burrowed through the weep holes on the walls. The holes bored by rodents had weakened structure considerably, KMDA engineers said.
Kolkata Traffic Police Officers said that they were ready with the diversion plan and have even undertaken drills to ensure smooth transition during when the diversion kicks in. “We would start the diversions the moment the agency begins work on the bridge surface. We are ready with our plans,” said a senior officer at Lalbazar.