|In the early hours of Friday when most citizens were still dreaming about the weekend ahead, L&T Metro Rail Hyderabad (L&TMRH) engineers, bleary-eyed having being awake the whole night shook hands with each other with big smiles.|
Their eyes lit up with excitement and emotion as the mammoth metro rail steel bridge finally rested atop the two tall piers on either side of the Oliphenta Railway Bridge at about 18 metres or 60 feet from ground.
For about a week or so, the engineers have been carefully planning and pushing the 1150 tonne steel edifice from its erection site 200 metres away at the Chilkalaguda crossroads, metre by metre in the wee hours when most of the city slept.
“It is like putting a satellite in the space, nothing could have explained the feeling among us. This is a lifetime opportunity,” smiles L&TMRH Chief Engineer (Construction) M.Y. Kondalu, flanked by his colleagues Prasanna Kumar, Pallam Raju, Imayavaramban and others.
Having obtained the traffic block period between midnight and dawn when the trains movement was halted and vents below closed for vehicular traffic for about a fortnight, it was a real challenging task for them to make use of the time frame and put the vital metro 83 metre-long link bridge in place.
Close to 20 engineers and more than 200 highly skilled workers have been at the site in fabricating the steel bridge and moving it almost round-the-clock.
While the metro viaduct will be taking a curve at the crossroads - Corridor Three: Nagole to Hi-Tec City/Raidurg - the steel bridge (9.5 metres high and 16.4 metres wide) will be positioned straight giving enough space for twin metro rail track to curve inside, inform senior engineers. Latest spherical bearings under the bridge will be holding it in place on the metro piers. Next step will be pouring concrete, laying the steel metro rails, cabling, signalling and electrification. Before that the front and back ‘trusses’ or noses used for pulling it will be dismantled. In about a month’s time, perhaps the metro trains could well be running on it for trial runs.