Saturday, May 24, 2014

Mandovi Bridge

About a year ago I had blogged about the Zuari Bridge and how a replacement was due for it. The Zuari Bridge saga is also associated with another and possibly much more important link between Panjim and the rest of north Goa.

In the early 1980’s, Goa experienced a London bridge is falling down scenario when a cantilever of the old Mandovi bridge failed. This led to multiple ferry boats being deployed on the panjim to porvorim route at betim and just besides the old bridge. Eventually the old bridge was rebuilt and another parallel bridge was built to accommodate heavy vehicles.

The Twin Mandovi Bridges Today
It looks like controversy hasn't left the Mandovi bridge behind. As recently as June 2013, PWD engineers found a skeleton in the deck of the old Mandovi bridge. Interestingly the Pillar No 13 of the bridge also has the infamous distinction of having been hit twice in its life by a Ore carrying barge.  The Rege commission which had probed the Mandovi bridge collapse had held faulty design of the cantilever bridge built by gammon India to be the main cause of the failure, with the cantilever failing within 16 years of commissioning of the bridge.

Excerpts from Rege commission report 
“The non-functional hinges between the girder tips were rectified only after three years, cracks were unattended for six years and corrosion of pre-stressed wires, which was noticed in '83, was neglected till the bridge collapsed.”

The Mandovi Bridge Today 
The twin bridges continue the bear the brunt of all traffic going out of Goa towards Sawantwadi and beyond. Below the bridges one can now find the main dock for all river excursion tours which are a must for any visitor to Goa.