Guwahati, January 16 (MExN): Engineers of NF Railway carried out rectification of the bearing arrangements of iconic Saraighat Bridge during a three hour traffic block on January 12.
A press release from Chief Public Relations Officer of NF Railway, Pranav Jyoti Sharma said it was probably during the 6.1 Richter scale earthquake of September 21, 2009 that the bearings under two end girders got tilted. The bridge was kept under observation and speed of trains was kept at 45 kmph.
“Rectification of the bearings was indeed a herculean task as the ends of the bridge girders were to be lifted by about 10 centimetres. Such work was never taken up earlier,” it stated.
The release informed that requisite bearing members were arranged and heavy duty lifting jacks of 500 tonne capacity apart from other machinery were mobilized. To rectify the bearings without any hazard, the rail and road traffic on the bridge was suspended temporarily for three hours.
Two separate teams of Engineers and skilled workers were deployed on both sides for rectification of bearings. Hydraulic and mechanical jacks were installed under the railway girders. With the help of these jacks, the railway girders were lifted as required. The bearings were removed from their place and installed back to correct inclination after cleaning etc, according to the release.
After ensuring correct position of the bearings, the bridge girders were lowered back to original position. Road surface was brought back to original level, while rail track was also re-fixed and regular rail and road traffic movement was permitted within three hours.
It was informed that the speed restriction of 45 kmph is planned to be relaxed now which will have far reaching implication on smoothening railway connectivity to North East India.