KARACHI: The NHA has released an explanatory report regarding the viral video on social media regarding the Hub Bridge connecting Karachi with Balochistan.
According to the National Highway Authority, the existing bridge over the Hub River was built 50 years ago, is 530 meters long, has a strong structure, and is technically safe to travel.
NHA Director Kashif Ali Sheikh said that a few years ago, due to illegal excavation of gravel and sand from the river, its underground pillars had become prominent and damaged. The foundation of the bridge is now perfectly safe.
According to the NHA, the pillars were covered with steel jacketing of piles in the year 2017-18.
The Director NHA said that in addition to protecting the inner pillars of the bridge, the NHA has built concrete walls around them which is the biggest component of the bridge structure, these walls are known as protective walls which are not part of the bridge structure. Once you look at the bridge, its piles are not visible, but only temporary concrete protection walls are visible around them.
According to the NHA, although the exterior temporary walls have been damaged, as a result, these walls have saved the actual load-bearing piles, so the bridge structure itself is protected inside the concrete walls, to extend the service life of the bridge.
The protective walls are currently in a state of disrepair due to the recent major floods in the Hub River. These damaged temporary concrete walls will be repaired to deal with future major floods.
According to the NHA, the cracks in the video, which went viral, were caused by overflowing water from the Hub Dam during the current rains, which will be repaired soon, but the cracks are on the outer protective wall which were built to protect the pillars of the bridge
The Director NHA says that the main problem is that the tractor mafia is illegally extracting soil, sand and gravel from here, due to which the pillar has become visible up to the natural surface level.
he said that he strongly recommended banning the collection of sand under this bridge. A large number of contractors are digging here and extracting gravel and sand from it.
In addition, the National High Authority last month prepared a blueprint for the construction of a new Hub Bypass, which will be approved by the Ministry of Planning. The blueprint suggests that the existing bridge be used only for local and light traffic. When heavy traffic is diverted to the new proposed Hub Bypass.
The NHA says the bridge over the Hub River is safe to travel on, but the authority is re-inspecting it with structural experts.