Kochi: DMRC principal advisor E. Sreedharan has suggested total replacement of the RCC (reinforced cement concrete) girders of the Palarivattom flyover with prestressed concrete girders (PSC) if the cost of bridge strengthening as advocated by IIT Chennai experts is over 50 per cent of the total replacement cost.
During the inspection of the 750-metre bridge, an expert team under Sreedharan had detected cracks on 97 out of the total 102 RCC girders.
Currently, repair work of the flyover, built at a cost of Rs 42 crore, has been stalled as the final study report of the IIT Chennai team led by Prof P. Alagusundaramoorthy is awaited.
“The report by the IIT team is expected by next week. The main repairing works will be carried out on the basis of the same,” RBDCK sources said.
Sreedharan also asked the state government to wait for the IIT report. “If their cost is more than 50 per cent of the replacement cost (of girders), the option is clear – total replacement of RCC girders with PSC girders,” he said in his report to the state government.
“The advantage of complete replacement of the bridge with PSC girders is that the designed service life of 100 years can be expected with normal inspection and maintenance,” he said. However, the complete replacement gives rise to the threat of environmental issue besi-des being a costly affair.
“A possible alternative would be to cut these girders in geometrical shape so that the cut pieces can be taken and reinstalled in areas facing severe sea erosion,” the report said.
Sreedharan also advocated continuity of deck slab while strengthening the bridge though the IIT team proposed expansion joints over each pier.