Access Engineering PLC, the foremost engineering company in Sri Lanka, was recently awarded the subcontract to construct the Polgahawela flyover, a much-needed solution for heavy traffic snarls daily amass at Polgahawela railway crossing.
The project is spearheaded by the Road Development Authority under the Higher Education and Highways Ministry and is funded by the government of Spain. The design and the supply of the superstructure are entrusted to the main contractor – Centunion S. A of Spain – and the design of sub structure, onsite fabrication, installation and erection are subcontracted to Access Engineering PLC along with the construction of 766-metre long approach road system.
Polgahawela railway station is located in an important railway junction where the main railway line from Colombo branches off to Jaffna in the North, Trincomalee and Batticaloa in the East and Kandy and Badulla in the upcountry. Around 130 trains travel to and from through the Polgahawela rail junction necessitating continuous shunting of trains, which leads to long gate closures for approximately 400 minutes per day at the level crossing located along Polgahawela-Kegalle road (A19). And this causes severe traffic congestion by the sides of the level crossing.
The project, which was initiated as a permanent solution to the situation at hand, involves an erection of a 234-metre long steel flyover, which is comprised of a 3.5-metre wide two-lane carriageway and 1.5-metre wide two pedestrian ways with hand railings on either side. The flyover will be built on a six-span steel superstructure of which the maximum span is of 45 metres length. The approach road system comprises of a 3.5-metre wide two-lane carriageway and 1.2-metre wide raised foot walks for pedestrians. The alignment of the flyover takes a detour around the existing level crossing to improve the overall road geometry, while eliminating the need for extensive land acquisitions and
The engineering team of Access Engineering PLC has now commenced the groundwork of the project, which is intended to be completed within 16 months. As part of the approach, road traverses across a marshy area, the engineering team is planning to take stringent measures on soft ground treatments where necessary.
“Taking the development forward with minimum disturbances to the commuters and the flow of trains will be extremely challenging as one of the piers has to be constructed on the station platform. Yet, when the project is completed, the flyover will conveniently carry the daily commuters amassed at Polgahawela level crossing up and over the railway and traffic situations at the railway then be a thing of the past,” said Polgahawela Flyover Project Manager Jeewaka Dahanayake.