Chinese officials take stock of new Zuari bridge project

Work on the last two segments will start from Aug 25 onwards
Commuters will have an experience of driving on one of a kind long span bridge in Goa.
Commuters will have an experience of driving on one of a kind long span bridge in Goa. Dhiraj Harmalkar

The new Zuari bridge, Goa's engineering marvel in the making is just two segments away from completion, however, the date when it will be open for traffic has to be kept on guessing.

Two Chinese officials -- Wei Zhejun (Deputy General Manager) and his team member Li Shuangrong -- from the sub-contractor company, Liuzhou OVM Machinery Co Ltd, involved in the bridge project, could not comment on a firm date of completion.

Both were at the bridge site on Monday (August 22) to take stock of the work completed so far. When GT asked them about the completion date, all that they said was that vehicular traffic will be allowed on the bridge soon after the last two segments are put together.

Work is on to complete the bridge in the next two months.
Work is on to complete the bridge in the next two months. Dhiraj Harmalkar

Dilip Buildcon Ltd Deputy Project Manager Deogonda Patil, who accompanied the two officials of the company said that the Zuari bridge will be made operational most likely in the next two months depending on the weather conditions that are unpredictable because of the monsoon season.

He said that at present the erection of the two segments is remaining which will be taken up on August 25. On August 30, if all goes as per plan, the work on the final segment will be taken up. "Post-completion of this work, the final tasks will be force monitoring, crash barrier fixing, hand railing and other minor aspects will be looked into. Most importantly, dampers will be put up on the cables to minimise the vibrations cause by traffic on the bridge," he added.

Work on the final segment will be taken up in all likelihood by Aug 30 if everything goes as per plan.
Work on the final segment will be taken up in all likelihood by Aug 30 if everything goes as per plan. Dhiraj Harmalkar

An engineering marvel

One of the major attractions, which many know but are not aware of the intricate details, is the cables that keep the segments together.

Giving details about the cable-stayed bridge, Patil informed that the height of the pylon is 100 metres from the pilecap, and the height from the deck level is 86 metres. "The bridge deck width is 27 metres, including both side footpaths. The main carriageway is 16 meters in width," he described.

He further said that this twin parallel bridge will have four lanes each and there will be a total of eight lanes.

The overall supervision of the bridge is being looked after by Atul Joshi, Dilip Buildcon Ltd, Vice President (Structure).

A picture taken from one of the topmost points of the bridge.
A picture taken from one of the topmost points of the bridge. Dhiraj Harmalkar

Cables

Patil informed that 56 cables have been used in one pylon and the total number of cables for the entire bridge stands at 224. "Galvanized iron coating, wax and polyethlene coating have been used in between the cables which will act as an anti-corrosion barrier against the saline and humid climate of Goa. Each cable consists of 61 strands and the diameter of each strand is 15.7 mm. These cables are made in China by OVM company," he mentioned and added, "A total of 1300 metric tonnes of cables are being used for the bridge and a single segment of 12x27 metres weighs 350 tonnes."

The cables used for the bridge, which were brought from China were inspected by the project contractor and PWD authorities, he informed.

Commuters will have an experience of driving on one of a kind long span bridge in Goa.
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Maintenance work and life of the bridge

Patil said that the bridge has been designed for 120 years of lifespan. "For the next eight years, maintenance work of the bridge will be carried out by DBL Ltd and later it will be handed over to the PWD Goa. This bridge will be open for all vehicles, including two-wheelers, bringing big relief to motorists," he added.

Can't ignore the Chinese connection

OVM Machinery Co Ltd officials, Wei Zhejun and Li Shuangrong, told GT that the company is one of the top five cable bridge manufacturers in the world. "The company has enormous experience in building and supplying material to cable-stayed bridges across China and other countries like Indonesia, Tanzania, Hong Kong, South Korea, Myanmar etc," they said.

They said the cables used in the Zuari project were tested in Chicago, USA, before being used for construction.

Giving more details, Li said that their company is based in the South China area just above Vietnam. The main aim of the company is to assist clients with services and products for overcoming project challenges, they added.

Commuters will have an experience of driving on one of a kind long span bridge in Goa.
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