Sunday, February 16, 2014

India - Corrosion Control - Howrah Bridge in Kolkatta to get a fresh coat of paint after eight years with a whopping 26,000 litres of lead-free paint

The British-era Howrah Bridge, Kolkata’s iconic landmark that serves as a crucial gateway for the eastern metropolis and ferries hundreds of thousands of vehicles every day, is getting a fresh coat of paint after eight years.

The steel behemoth, also known as Rabindra Setu, which forms the crucial connect between the bustling eastern metropolis and Howrah district over the Hooghly river, is getting spruced up with a whopping 26,000 litres of lead-free paint.

Last painted in 2005

“This is a routine paint job which is done after 5 – 6 years. The last time it was painted in 2005. The National Test House officials will check the quality of the paint, the thickness...and other crucial parameters,” said Chief Engineer A.K. Mehera of Kolkata Port Trust – the body responsible for maintenance of the bridge.

The 26,500-tonne structure, which finds mention in Rudyard Kipling’s works, was commissioned in 1943 replacing a pontoon bridge linking the two towns. It was the fourth longest cantilever suspension bridge in the world at that time. Stretching for 2,150 feet and rising up to 280 feet from its foundation, the ‘Gateway to Kolkata’ ranks as the sixth longest bridge of its type in the world.

As many as 150 workmen will be involved in the task estimated to take six months. “Work has already begun,” said Mehera. As the structure is exposed to environmental factors like pollution and weather changes, the first part of the mammoth job involves getting rid of the rust and old paint.“This is followed by a primer which has anti-corrosive properties. Then aluminium paint will be applied for further protection, following which the final rubber-based paint will be applied...the shade will be steel, as before,” he said.

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Publication Date: 12 Feb 2014

India - Sea Bridge - Dr APJ inaugurates centenary celebrations of Pamban bridge, an engineering marvel of Indian Railways

Pamban bridge was an engineering marvel that had withstood corrosion and a violent sea for over a century. The 65.23-metre-long rolling central lift span (the bridge is 2.06 km long), named after Scherzer, German engineer who designed and built the span, has been given a fresh coat of paint and decorated with lights. It opens up like a pair of scissors to allow vessels to pass through under the bridge.

Mr. Kalam had played a vital role in preserving the bridge. After the Railways announced its uni-gauge policy in 2006, and almost gave up gauge conversion at the bridge, he brought in IIT-Madras expertise to thrash out an engineering solution.

The bridge was put to test for the first time in December 1964, when a severe cyclonic storm hit this part of the area. All girders, both RCC and steel, were washed away. Two of the 141 piers were also damaged. But, Scherzer’s span withstood nature’s fury.

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Publication Date: 29 January 2014

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