National

Rail-cum-road bridge across Godavari undergoes maintenance work

V Rishi Kumar Hyderabad | Updated on May 22, 2020 Published on May 21, 2020

The track maintenance work is underway on the iconic second rail-cum-road bridge across river Godavari near Rajahmundry in Andhra Pradesh

In one of the biggest rail maintenance operations during the lockdown, the South Central Railway has completed comprehensive track maintenance work on the iconic second rail-cum-road bridge across river Godavari near Rajahmundry in Andhra Pradesh.

The track maintenance work was undertaken after 43 years from the time the bridge was commissioned in 1977.

The work was carried out by taking a mega block of 36 hours (total stoppage of train movement) on the bridge. The work had been pending for want of such long stoppage of train services given the fact that the bridge is critical to the South-East Rail link, bridging the two sides of the mighty Godavari River on the Vijayawada-Visakhapatnam Railway Section of the zone. Safety while undertaking the works was another major concern.

The work involved laying of track on the 6 spans with deck slabs. It replaced the existing railway track along with sleepers which served for a few decades.

The fully automated and mechanised process, which required minimal physical labour, was carried out by using the modern PQRS (Plasser Quick Relating System) cranes in the least possible time. The work presented huge challenges as the bridge handles rail traffic on the lower deck and road traffic on the upper deck. Simultaneously, a 180-meter length of approach to the bridge was also deep-screened by using an excavator.

Gajanan Mallya, General Manager, South Central Railway, was appreciative of the team of Railway engineers and workforce of the Vijayawada Division that carried out the task successfully.

The rail-cum-road bridge with 34 spans (28 spans with steel girder and 6 spans with PSC deck slabs) across the Godavari is the third longest rail-cum-road structure in India, after the Digha-Sonpur bridge across River Ganges near Patna and Bogibeel Bridge across River Brahmaputra in Assam.

Built by the Braithwaite, Burn & Jessop Construction Company, the rail-cum-road bridge streamlined train movement on the vital Chennai-Vijayawada-Visakhapatnam-Howrah sector. This was earlier catered by the Sir Havelock Bridge, now a heritage structure. Another bridge which added to the chain later, is the pre-stressed concrete Bow String Arch shaped third bridge across River Godavari at Rajahmundry, which is considered as a engineering marvel.

Published on May 21, 2020

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