Lockdown helps complete maintenance works of Godavari rail-cum-road bridge

Taking advantage of the suspension of train services during the lockdown, the South Central Railway (SCR) has completed the track maintenance works undertaken at the iconic second rail-cum-road bridge across the Godavari River at Rajamahendravaram, 43 years after the structure was commissioned.

The bridge, with 34 spans across the river, is the third longest rail-cum-road structure in the country , after the Digha-Sonpur bridge across the Ganges near Patna and the Bogibeel bridge on the Brahmaputra river in Assam.

The 3-km bridge built by Braithwaite, Burn & Jessop Construction Company in 1977 across the Godavari River streamlined the movement of trains on Chennai-Vijayawada-Vizag-Howrah route, which was earlier catered by Sir Havelock Bridge, the first bridge on the same river, which went on to become a heritage structure.

‘Challenging task’

The renewal works involved laying of tracks on six spans with PSC deck slabs, wherein the four-decade-old tracks along with the sleepers needed to be replaced with fresh set of pre-fit lengths of tracks along with the sleepers. The automated process was carried out in the least possible time, said Vijayawada DRM P. Srinivas.

“The work was carried out with precautions after stopping the movement of trains completely on the bridge. Movement of traffic was also regulated on the bridge owing to the lockdown. Taking up the works was a challenge as the rail traffic on the lower deck and road traffic on the upper deck needed to be stopped,” the DRM said.

SCR General Manager Gajanan Mallya, who monitored the works, appreciated Mr. Srinivas, team of engineers and the workers who completed the task successfully.

Vital link

The work has been pending since years for want of blockage of trains as the bridge is the key to South East rail link of India, bridging two sides of the Godavari River on Vijayawada-Visakhapatnam section, the railway officials said.

The bridge connects Kovvur in West Godavari with Rajamahendravaram in East Godavari.

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