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Delhi: Traffic crawls as Lajpat Nagar flyover closed for repairs

Repair work on the massive gap between two girders of the Lajpat Nagar flyover started on Monday, triggering traffic chaos on the busy stretch

delhi Updated: Jan 01, 2018 22:58 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
Delhi news,Lajpat Nagar flyover,Ashram flyover
An 8-10 inches wide and around 10 feet long gap had developed between the girders at the flyover, raising safety concerns among commuters.(Sanchit Khanna/HT File Photo)

Repair work on the massive gap between two girders of the Lajpat Nagar flyover started on Monday, triggering traffic chaos on the busy stretch.

HT had reported last week that the Public Works Department (PWD) would take up repairs on the flyover from January 1. During the repair work, one carriageway would remain closed for traffic for 15 days. Traffic going towards Moolchand from Ashram has now been diverted from under the flyover, leading to traffic snarls.

Post-January 14, the second carriageway (from Moolchand towards Ashram) will be closed for repair till January 28.

An 8-10 inches wide and around 10 feet long gap had developed between the girders at the flyover, raising safety concerns among commuters. On December 28, Delhi Traffic Police had advised the two-wheeler riders to avoid the flyover because of the big gap in the joints.

“Traffic restrictions were put in place on one carriageway from early Monday morning. We have taken over the site and started the construction work. We will replace expansion joints of the bridge with the new ones brought in from Bhopal,” a PWD official told Hindustan Times.

The official said that to repair one carriageway, the traffic police has allowed the department to close traffic for 15 days but it would be completed before “the scheduled time”.

The traffic department issued a fresh advisory on Monday, informing the commuters to take Mathura Road, Ashram Chowk, Moolchand flyover or Lodhi Road, Bhishm Pitamah Marg while commuting from south Delhi to central Delhi and vice versa to avoid delays and congestion.

Traffic moved at snail’s pace on the stretch under the flyover on already clogged Ring Road. Locals said the movement of traffic from Ashram towards Moolchand on the Ring Road remained slow all day.

“I was not aware of the flyover closure, so like any other day I chose to take this road to reach office but I got stuck,” Deepak Rastogi, a commuter, told Hindustan Times.

Ring Road is one of the most important arterial roads in Delhi, which carries a heavy volume of traffic. The affected stretch of the Ring Road passes through several important areas like Lajpat Nagar, Moolchand, South Extension and witnesses heavy traffic.

Another commuter, Ratan Saini, said: “Traffic on the Ring Road is usually heavy but today it turned worse because the authorities closed the flyover. Getting caught in a traffic jam is a nightmare.”

Admitting that the commuters will have to face traffic problem due to the repair work, the PWD official said: “We are trying to expedite the process. The repair work will be carried out on war footing.”

Engineers say that the gap is a result of natural contraction of girders. In summers, these girders expand while during winters they shrink. Expansion joints are used to fill the resultant gaps.

First Published: Jan 01, 2018 22:58 IST