Shillong: An existing RCC bridge with Load Class 70 at Barapani at Km 12.865 on NH 40 on Shillong-Silchar Highway was declared unfit for heavy vehicle traffic due to development of vertical cracks on the main beams and piers of the bridge.
This was leading diversion of traffic through Shillong city over the Umiam cum spillway and heavy congestion in the city resulting lot of discomfort to the people.
On December 3 2020, NHAI approached BRO for constructing a bridge at Barapani. Construction of new bridge would have taken at least three years. On humanitarian ground DG Border Roads gave his consent for construction of alternate bridge on fast track basis.
There was a Hamilton steel bridge in dilapidated state next to RCC bridge which was in disuse subsequent to construction of higher Load Class RCC bridge (which has now developed faults).
Hamilton bridge was found unusable and needed removal for launching a new bridge of heavier class. Restoration of piers and abutments was considered necessary to take a load of class 40 and above.
Lt Gen Rajeev Chaudhry, Director General Border Roads alongwith representative of NHAI and PWD, Meghalaya visited the bridge site on January 31, 2021 to make an assessment of the task and give necessary directions to expedite the work.
After considering all design aspects, it was decided to construct a 230 feet continuous span Bailey Bridge. BRO commenced launching of the bridge on March 11 2021 and completed on March 15 2021, within 05 days, which was envisaged to be launched in 15 days.
Construction of bridge on existing depilated piers was a unique experience for BRO. Completion of bridge in five days speaks volume of the BROs ethos and professionalism towards service of the Nation.
Prompt action by BRO has brought much need succour to the local population and has been deeply appreciated by the Civil Administration.