Varthur bridge had similar shaking in 2016: BBMP officials

Built by the Karnataka Public Works Department (PWD) 17 years ago along state highway 35, the bridge has been experiencing severe shaking in the last few days due to heavy vehicular movement. DH file photo

Even as a team of engineers and experts examined the shaking Varthur bridge on Wednesday, it has emerged that the bridge across the sprawling lake had wobbled in 2016.

Built by the Karnataka Public Works Department (PWD) 17 years ago along state highway 35, the bridge has been experiencing severe shaking in the last few days due to heavy vehicular movement. BBMP’s chief engineer for Major Road Infrastructure S Somashekhar has asked people not to panic. “The bridge was built 17 years ago. In 2016, we received complaints that it was shaking and inspected it. We found the bearings between the pillars and the slab needed minor repair and took remedial measures,” he said.

On Wednesday, BBMP officials and the team of experts also met representatives of the resident welfare associations, members of the citizen group Whitefield Rising, traffic police and residents of nearby colonies.

The experts have asked for a Non-destructive Testing (NDT) within two days and a report for further action. “We need to repair the bearings and give minor treatment to the pillars, besides fixing the storm water drains nearby. All of this would take 15 days to finish. Since there’s traffic on this stretch, we’ll have to work in the night time,” Somashekhar said.

Member of Whitefield Rising Zibi Jamal said BBMP officials have promised to act within two days and have also agreed to periodically inspect the bridge. “It need not be closed as the experts say it’s safe for vehicles up to ten tones during the period of repair,” she added.

Zibi said citizen representatives have asked for a written document to vouch for the bridge’s safety to allow school vans and other vehicles in future. “We hope everything will be fine,” she said.

Receiving information on the shaky bridge, Whitefield traffic police have barred heavy vehicles from Tuesday as a safety measure. Traffic officials said they have banned only the heavy vehicles since there are no alternative routes along Varthur to divert the traffic.

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Varthur bridge had similar shaking in 2016: BBMP officials

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