Staff Reporter GUWAHATI, June 20 - The Saraighat rail-cum-road bridge (old Saraighat bridge) over the Brahmaputra river was reopened for vehicular traffic this afternoon.
The old Saraighat bridge as seen on Thursday. – UB Photos
General Manager of Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR) Sanjive Roy, along with other senior officials, inspected the bridge today. Following this, the bridge was reopened for vehicular movement from 2 pm. The bridge remained closed for vehicular traffic since March 23 to allow NFR’s Engineering section to undertake repair works on the upper deck (road portion).
Almost 500 workers were engaged to carry out the technically challenging task of replacing 54 slabs on the upper deck along with replacement of 11 expansion joint slabs and expansion joints.
The methods adopted to replace deck slabs and the connecting expansion joints involved breaking down the concrete slabs and expansion joint slabs and removing the expansion joints.
NFR officials said the repair and replacement of the upper deck slabs of the bridge was particularly difficult due to the fact that train movement on the lower deck (rail portion) was continuing without any disruption.
For this, special permission was obtained from the Commissioner of Railway Safety, who works under the Ministry of Civil Aviation to maintain autonomy. Accordingly, special temporary scaffolding was erected under the upper deck to collect broken pieces from the deck.
Road markings, painting of side beams, side railing and fixing of car eyes have been done for improvement of aesthetics.
Meanwhile, Roy thanked the State government for the help extended by it during the repair process and the local people for their cooperation.