Experts find no cracks on Chittagong flyover pillars

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Flyover will be reopened in the next two days, says CDA

Experts have claimed that they did not find any cracks during inspection on Wednesday of the ramp pillars of MA Mannan flyover at Bahaddarhat in Chittagong city.

A team of engineers from Design Planning and Management (DPM) Consultants Limited, the company that designed the ramp, made the announcement on Wednesday morning.

According to DPM’s technical experts, the cracks, shown on viral social media photos, are basically construction joints. The foam provided for shuttering in that joint came out and created panic among local residents.

Engineer MA Sobhan, managing director of DPM Consultants, said since discussions had started on the issues of the flyover, more in-depth testing would be done. The firm would file a report with all its findings to the project implementing agency, Chittagong Development Authority (CDA), he added.

DPM Director Engineer Shahjahan Alam and Senior Structural Engineer Sami Md Reza were also part of the team of technical experts.

Meanwhile, Chittagong Development Authority (CDA) Executive Engineer (Project) Md Mahfuzur Rahman reiterated that there were no cracks in the pillars.

“We have consulted with the experts and sent the findings in writing to the Chittagong City Corporation (CCC),” he said.
We hope the flyover will be reopened for normal traffic movement in the next two days. Height barrier will be installed on the flyover in the meantime,” Mahfuzur Rahman said.

On Monday, a man named Muhammad Mohiuddin posted a photo on a Facebook group named “Praner Chittagong,” which showed a crack in a pillar on the Arakan Road ramp of the MA Mannan Flyover.

Later, the photo went viral on social media. After verifying the authenticity of the post, police had stopped traffic on the ramp from Monday night to prevent an accident. During a visit on Tuesday morning, CCC Mayor M Rezaul Karim Chowdhury blamed the CDA for the cracks due to construction defects.
However, the CDA, the construction company of the flyover, claimed that it was not a crack, it was a joint between the pillars.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina laid the foundation stone of the flyover in January 2010. She also inaugurated it in October 2013 after the Bangladesh Army completed the construction work.

The flyover, designed to ease traffic, has become a death trap with city planners and engineers long arguing that the flyover is prone to accidents due to systematic errors in construction and lack of proper supervision.

This is, however, not the first time that cracks have been spotted on this flyover. Even before its inauguration, the flyover went through a series of accidents.
On June 29, 2012, a 130-foot-long concrete girder between pillars 21 and 22 of the flyover collapsed in Bahaddarhat, injuring a rickshaw puller.

In November that year, at least 13 people were killed when three steel girders collapsed during construction work in the same area.

Later in January 2018, another large crack appeared in one of the ramps linking the flyover — which extends from the Shulakbahar area to the One Kilometer area of Bahaddarhat.

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