October 13, 2011 12:52:37 am
Construction of the countrys most complex Metro Rail project reached a significant milestone with the first cable of a cable-stayed bridge running over and across Andheris Jog flyover strung up on Tuesday.
What motorists noticed on Wednesday appears to be no more than a bright blue pipe,but its installation is an engineering trailblazer in more ways than one. The concrete bridge,including segments cast in-situ,is being constructed at a height of 21 metres over one of Mumbais busiest traffic junctions without halting traffic even for a few hours. The four custom-built form-travellers being used to launch the concrete segments were installed at that height,about as high as a seven-storey building,without the use of any giant cranes that could topple or would need traffic stoppages.
A representative of Mumbai Metro One Pvt Ltd (MMOPL),which is building the Versova-Andheri Ghatkopar Metro Rail corridor,said the other unique thing is that unlike many cable-stayed bridges,the cabling system here will not be a bonded one. This means that additional cables can be used to strengthen any part at a later stage,or certain cables can be removed and replaced if a need arises all while the bridge stays live,while the Metro Rail route is in operation, the representative said.
Being executed by Mumbai Metro One Pvt Ltds civil works contractor SEW along with bridge and gantry specialists VSL India Ltd who also worked on the cable-stayed section of the Bandra Worli Sea Link,the bridge is called a balanced cantilever construction,a structure that projects horizontally with support only on one end.
This is executed by a form traveller,that stays anchored to the previously cast segment while launching the next segment horizontally,unsupported on the outer end of the fresh segment. A senior engineer with SEW explained that four form travellers are now working simultaneously on the east and west ends of the Western Express Highway at Andheri to build the bridge. Its construction,set to continue till April next year,will end when the segments finally meet at the centre.
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