One of the lanes on the second Hooghly bridge, also known as Vidyasagar Setu, will undergo a four-month closure starting from November. This decision was reached during a recent meeting at Nabanna, presided over by Chief Secretary H.K. Dwivedi and attended by senior police officers and the Hooghly River Bridge Commissioners (HRBC), responsible for maintaining the bridge.
To facilitate the replacement of 16 critical “holding down” cables within the bridge’s structure, a lane on the flank will be temporarily closed to traffic. Adequate measures will be taken by the police to inform motorists in advance and ensure smooth traffic flow during this period.
The second Hooghly bridge features 152 cables arranged in a fan pattern, supported by steel pylons at both ends with foundations underwater. The “holding down” cables, located within the pylons, play a vital role in maintaining the bridge’s tension despite heavy daily traffic.
These 16 cables, originally imported from Germany, are essential for the bridge’s stability. Together with the 152 stay cables, they constitute the structural integrity of the second Hooghly Bridge.
A team of engineers from a French engineering company is in Kolkata with the necessary machinery for the cable replacement work. They will start by replacing the cables within the northern pylons before moving on to the southern side.
Given the need for a lane closure lasting four months, it was collectively decided to commence the work after the conclusion of the Pujas festival in October, with November 1 as the chosen start date.
The second Hooghly Bridge, stretching 823 meters, holds the distinction of being India’s longest cable-stayed bridge. It was constructed under the supervision of engineers from Freeman Fox and Partners and the Bharat Bhari Udyog Nigam Limited over a span of 22 years. Inaugurated on October 10, 1992, the bridge handles nearly 90,000 vehicles daily.