No access to walkway yet
Times of India, 05 December 2020
Kolkata: In its old avatar, Majerhat bridge had a high pedestrian traffic volume. The two pavements on either side were always busy. In the new avatar though, pedestrians have been barred from using the bridge for now. They will be able to use the bridge around 10 days later when construction of the pedestrian walkway is completed.
Unlike the earlier bridge, the pedestrian walkway is not continuous from one end to another, but separated from the bridge-carriageway by a tall guard wall. The pedestrian walkway can be approached from a staircase from the service road below the bridge. “The pedestrians cannot take buses or catch other vehicles from the bridge, which used to be the practice on the old bridge, making it accident-prone,” said a traffic inspector.
“Majerhat railway station generates a huge volume of pedestrians who just cross the bridge to reach the other side for jobs or other necessities. This is why the pedestrian walkway is more than necessary. But paucity of space did not allow us to have the walkway on either side of the bridge. On the western side, the Metro station will be parallel to the bridge,” said an engineer associated with the design of the bridge.
Engineers TOI spoke to said the 185-metre walkway, on the eastern flank of the bridge, is complete but the work on staircases from the two service roads on either side of the canal is under way. “Work on the staircase got stuck as we realised we had hit the foundation of the old bridge. The foundation had to be dismantled. Then, there were around 20 electrical lines of CESC that had to be shifted elsewhere, stalling up the work on staircases further. Now that all the utilities have been cleared, we will prepare the staircases within 10 days,” said a PWD official.