Friday, June 14, 2024

No major structural fault

Khilagaon flyover reopened
Experts on Saturday said the displacement of three shuttering plates of the Khilagaon flyover was not a major structural fault and cleared movement of all types of vehicles on the flyover.
However, the authorities, after over a 17-hour halt for running a structural check on the flyover, reopened it from Saturday afternoon (from 1:00 pm) for lighter vehicles only.
A nine-member technical probe committee, formed immediately after the discovery of the structural subsidence, opined that the fault, for which the flyover was closed down at 7:00 pm on Friday, might be there since its construction
“The flyover does not have any major structural fault or a defective foundation which could trigger a collapse or cave-in,” the expert team told a press conference on Saturday afternoon in the capital’s Nagar Bhaban.
The technical probe committee consisted of three professors of the civil engineering department of BUET, Dr Abdul Jabbar Khan, Dr Munaz Ahmed Noor and Dr Moazzem Hossain, superintendent engineer of circle-1 of DCC Md Abul Hasnat, DCC chief engineer Abul Hossain, superintendent engineer of LGED (Retd) Md Haider Ali, former senior technical adviser of LGED ASM Abdul Hamid, superintendent engineer of LGED, Syed Mahbubur Rahman and senior instructor of Military Institute of Science and Technology Col Shahidul Islam
Earlier in the morning the probe committee had conducted an on-the-spot investigation and prepared a preliminary report. Copies of the probe report handed over to the reporters at the press conference stated that the experts had investigated the pre-stress girder, deck/slab, elastomeric bearing and the bier of the flyover and no major fault was discovered there.
The report also stated that since the flyover had been constructed by local experts using traditional technology, achieving the highest level of precision during the construction was not possible, but then the flyover had no severe structural fault either.
In the report, the probe team suggested that the flyover be reopened for vehicles.
Dr Munaj Ahmed Noor, BUET professor of civil engineering who was a member of the expert team, told the press conference that there was nothing to be panicky about the flyover.
“We have meticulously investigated the flyover and we didn’t discover any crack at the bottom of the girder or at the joint, which proved that the subsidence of the plates was not an evidence of cave-in or collapse,” Dr Noor said.
“Rather it was the lack of precision in the constriction method and it’s not dangerous or unusual for a flyover like Khilgaon which has a complex structure including a loop,” he further said adding, many flyovers across the world have precision problems.
“But we are planning to monitor the situation for a certain period of time and if there is further subsidence, we would conduct a more detailed investigation,” he said.
Dr Moazzem Hossain of BUET, another member of the committee, said the initial evidence suggested that the concrete plates, supported by the pre-stress girder, are not precisely placed during the construction of the flyover.
“This is not a fatal structural error,” he observed.
To repeated queries of the reporters, both Prof Moazzem and Prof Noor said the flyover would not cave in even if it was used by heavy vehicles.
“A major metropolitan flyover is always constructed by considering heavy traffic load on it. Khilgaon flyover is no different from that. Even if there is a stagnant traffic of heavy vehicles including trucks and buses on the flyover, it can bear the load,” said Dr Moazzem.
When asked why the Khilgaon flyover remained close for heavy vehicles if it hadn’t suffered any serious damage, the experts said movement of heavy vehicles had been stopped on the Mohakhli and Khilgaon flyovers by an executive order from the Prime Minister’s Office.
“This has nothing to do with the subsidence of the shattering plates at the Khilgaon flyover. The PMO issued that directive to reduce road risk and accident probabilities,” said Mohammad Abul Hasnat, superintendent engineer of DCC circle-1.
DCC mayor Sadeq Hossain Khoka told the reporters that there was no maintenance fault at the Khilgaon flyover. “We visited the spot as soon as we heard the news and we formed a technical probe committee which submitted the reports in less than 24 hours,” he said.
Hossain assured the public that the DCC would monitor the flyover. “The experts committee has only submitted a preliminary report and it has asked us for further monitoring and we will do that,” he said.
The 1.9-km-long and 14-metre-wide Khilgaon flyover was designed by local engineers and they supervised and monitored its construction.
The flyover was thrown open to traffic on March 23, 2005. It came as a great a relief to people living in Rajarbagh, Malibagh, Shahjahanpur, Khilgaon, Goran, Bashabo and Sabujbagh of the capital. The flyover reduces congestion and is a safer way to cross the Khilgaon level crossing.


Courtesy of The Independent

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