Khilgaon flyover closed for 24hrs | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, September 10, 2011 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, September 10, 2011

Subsidence

Khilgaon flyover closed for 24hrs


The authorities yesterday closed the Khilgaon flyover in the city for 24 hours after a part of the six-year-old structure slightly sank displacing three shuttering plates.
Visiting the spot, Syed Mahbubur Rahman, superintendent engineer of the Local Government Engineering Department (LGED), said concretes plates on the surface at the junction of the flyover subsided by a couple of centimetres at three places.
The authorities concerned formed a committee last night comprised of experts to find out why it sank and what can be done to fix it.
"Hopefully we will come to know by noon [Saturday noon] whether plying of light vehicles should be permitted or not," said DCC Mayor Sadeque Hossain Khoka while visiting the spot around 10:00pm yesterday. "We cannot make any comment about the reason for such sinking before getting reports from the experts.
Mahbubur told The Daily Star on the flyover last night, "The joints are supposed to be on the same level, but they are not." He said the shuttering plates (placed between segments of the structure) are supposed to expand in the summer and shrink in winter that is why there are gaps between plates. But one plate forcing another plate down is unusual, he added.
Mukta Dhar, assistant commissioner (traffic) of Sabujbagh Police Station, said they first got information around 7:00pm that there was something wrong with the flyover.
"We then went to the spot and found guard rails of the flyover leaning away by around 2 inches than usual. We suspended movement of all vehicles on the flyover as a precautionary measure," Dhar said.
The 1.9km long and 14-metre wide flyover was designed by local engineers and they supervised and monitored its construction.
BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia, then prime minister, in her flyover inauguration speech lauded the efficiency and skill of the LGED engineers and hoped they would contribute more through similar projects.
Visiting the spot, DCC Chief Engineer Brig Gen Abul Hossain said the sinking could be blamed on many things including plying of overloaded vehicles, soil condition, and vibration caused by trains that run under the structure.
After visiting the spot, chief technical adviser of the flyover Eng Abdul Hamid said it is a minor problem. Initiative to repair the structure will be made today after scrutinising the information gathered and discussion with officials concerned.
Following the discovery of the sinking, panic gripped the people living around the flyover. They gathered near the structure in hundreds wishing to know if the situation would deteriorate.
"If the flyover collapses, it will fall on my home. We are panicked," said Mohasin Ali.
Another local Jakir Hossain said thousands of people travel under and on the flyover daily. If it collapses, the causality figure will be devastating.
Talking about traffic jams, Rajib Ahmed, a resident of Khilgaon, said if vehicular movement over the flyover is suspended, it will cause locals to suffer the most.
The flyover was opened to traffic on March 23, 2005. It was seen as a relief by people living in Rajarbagh, Malibagh, Shahjahanpur, Khilgaon, Goran, Bashabo and Sabujbagh of the capital as it reduced congestion and was a safer way to cross the Khilgaon Level Crossing.
The expert probe body will be comprised of representatives of Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (Buet), LGED, Dhaka City Corporation and the Army Engineering Corps. The committee members are supposed to visit the spot this morning.

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