Gaps appear on Tilak Nagar flyover, PWD starts temporary filling work
A flyover in Tilak Nagar in West Delhi has developed gaps in its expansion joints placed between two girders, prompting the public works department (PWD) to start a “temporary repair” of the bridge to avoid any mishap. Traffic movement, however, has not been curtailed on the flyover for the repair work, PWD officials said.
The gaps in the flyover were first noticed by regular commuters and residents around 10 days ago. They had then apprised their MLA Jarnail Singh about the issue, who in turn informed the PWD, which started the repair work on Monday. The development comes close on the heels of the collapse of an under-construction flyover in Gurugram on Saturday, injuring two persons.
The nearly 1km long four-lane Tilak Nagar flyover runs parallel to the Blue Line of the Delhi Metro in Tilak Nagar and serves as a crucial link between the Rajouri Garden and Uttam Nagar areas in west Delhi. PWD officials said the flyover was built about 15 to 20 years ago, and an estimated 10,000 to 15,000 vehicles use it every day.
According to PWD officials, expansion joints are placed between two concrete slabs or girders to hold them together and safely absorb temperature-induced expansions and contractions of the concrete slabs. There are around five expansion joints on the flyover on each carriageway and all of them have to be replaced eventually.
Some of these expansion joints had developed a four to five inch gap, raising safety concerns. The asphalt layer of the flyover has also started eroding in a few places.
Shahi Kant, PWD engineer-in-chief, said gaps between girders are normal and there was no need for panic.
“As soon as I came to know about the problem, I issued orders to repair the gaps. The repair work has already started. This was a case of gaps in expansion joints and there are no cracks on the flyover as such,” Kant clarified.
Another PWD official, on condition of anonymity, said the permanent solution to the problem would be to replace all expansion joints, which will take 15 days for each carriageway. “This work can be done after the monsoon is over and we would also need to stop the traffic movement. But for now, we have decided to repair expansion joints temporarily by filling the gaps. The repair work has started today (Monday),” the official said.
When contacted, MLA Jarnail Singh said on receiving the complaint from residents, he informed the PWD authorities and conducted an inspection of the flyover himself last week. “There were three to five inch gaps between two girders on both carriageways. The matter was raised with the PWD authorities and they assured us the gaps would be repaired on a temporary basis on Monday, and all expansion joints will be replaced once the monsoon is over,” Singh said.