Wind testing of cable bridge to augment Mumbai-Pune Expressway caught in coronavirus turbulence
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The wind testing of proposed cable stayed bridge to augment Mumbai-Pune Expressway is stuck due to the outbreak of COVID-19 enforced lockdown, said a senior official requesting anonymity from the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC). MSRDC is the nodal agency to augment the exisiting Mumbai Pune Expressway also called as missing link project.

The official explained that the wind testing report for the construction of cable stayed bridge is made by a Canada based company but due to novel coronavirus as international flight services remain suspended, the fixed schedule to depart for Canada on July 27 from Mumbai has been cancelled.

"Now we are in talks with the appointed contractor and the foreign agency consulting whether it's possible to get the wind testing report online. However, on the other end since the bridge is crucial, officials presence is also necessary. We cannot rely on the agency report communicated online. Still we are trying to find out a suitable solution on it," he asserted.

Wind testing for any cable stayed bridge is essential to understand the velocity of wind in which the bridge can withstand strongly and what kind of architectural designing work and material will be required. The official stated, "We would have been given the topography details of the area where the bridge will be constructed and also through satellite images the foreign agency would have been created a prototype model in Canada itself in our presence and accordingly the study report would have been made. Even for the Worli-Bandra Sea link cable stayed bridge the same canada based agency had prepared the wind testing report."

The cable stayed bridge height from the ground will be 120 metres.

M/s Afcons Infrastructure Ltd has been given the work of construction of two cable stayed bridge (Viaduct) of eight lanes each of 750 metres and 650 metres and augmentation of exisiting Mumbai Pune Expressway to eight lanes from 6 lanes from Khalapur Toll Plaza to Khopoli exit (6.5km) that is Phase 2. While M/s Navayuga Engineering Co. Ltd. is carrying out the two tunnels construction work comprising of 1.75km and 8.9kms in Phase 1. The ongoing missing link project will reduce the exisiting distance to 13.3 kms from 19kms from Khopoli Exit to Sinhagad Institute presently.

Currently, the two tunnelling work is in progress informed the official. Nearly three kilometres of tunelling work has been completed. He also stated that Navayuga appointed for phase 1 is having all 300 labourers on site while Afcons is carrying out the work with about 150 labourers for phase-2 related works. The phase 2 contractor meanwhile is also trying to outsource workers to carry out the work efficiently as due to lockdown several labourers left the city affecting the workflow.

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