The popular Atal Bridge on the Sabarmati River was repaired and one of its glass panels replaced after it developed cracks last month; however, the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) now faces a new issue: the glass panels are becoming less transparent.
While the civic body has barricaded all eight glass panels with dimensions of 1.5 m by 2 m each with steel fencing as a preventative measure to prevent cracks on the Atal bridge, the only solution experts have recommended is to replace the panels with new ones, according to officials.
Jagdish Patel, Chief General Manager at SRFDCL (Sabarmati Riverfront Development Corporation Limited), told The Indian Express: “The glass strength and load capacity is not an issue, as it has been tested by experts. But the transparency of these glasses, which has reduced by 80 per cent due to people walking over these panels, is a bigger issue. The sand and dust found under shoes has resulted in these glasses turning opaque.”
On April 6, one of the eight glass panels on the footover bridge between Ellis Bridge and Sardar Bridge connecting west and east banks of Sabarmati had developed “spontaneous cracks”.
A group of experts, including senior officials and specialists in glass manufacturing and installation, visited the Atal Bridge to assess the damage and perform strength tests on one of the glass panels. The experts had determined after inspection that the glass panels were still safe despite the cracks. 500 kg per square metre can be supported by the glass, just like a bridge. Lamination is used to bond the four layers of toughened glass, making it strong enough and risk-free, according to experts.