A crack has appeared in the MA Mannan flyover in Chattogram, which Chattogram City Corporation (CCC) authorities claim to be caused by the movement of overloaded vehicles as well as a technical defect in design and construction.
"There may be a design or construction failure. Whatever it is, it is mainly due to overloaded vehicles," said Rafiqul Islam, the chief engineer of Chattogram City Corporation, after visiting the flyover on Tuesday morning.
"I have talked to the officials of Max Engineering that constructed the flyover. They said the ramp where a crack appeared was not included in the main design. This Arakan Road bound ramp was constructed four years after the flyover was completed, which may have caused the problem," he added.
Echoing the chief engineer, CCC Mayor Rezaul Karim said the Chattogram Development Authority (CDA) built the flyover and CCC has just been looking after it.
"It seems to be caused by construction flaws. We have already stopped vehicle movement there. We will issue a letter to the CDA in this regard. We are ready to cooperate with them if they want," the mayor added.
To ease traffic congestion, the CDA took the initiative to build the MA Mannan flyover from the city's toll plaza to Bahaddarhat. After its foundation was laid in 2010, steel girders collapsed in 2014 and 14 people died. Then the Bangladesh Army was tasked with overseeing the construction. The flyover was inaugurated on 12 October 2013 for vehicular movement.
After four years of construction, former CDA chairman Abdus Salam added the Arakan Road bound ramp. Because of the ramp, buses from Muradnagar have to move one way towards Chandgaon and Bahaddarhat bus terminals. In December 2019, this flyover was handed over to the CCC.
CDA Chief Engineer Kazi Hasan Bin Shams told TBS the flyover was constructed during the tenure of the former chairman. Next action plans will be taken after examining the pillars.
Md Mahfuzur Rahman, the project director, also said overloaded vehicle movement has caused the crack.
However, mentioning CDA's negligence in looking after the flyover, CCC Mayor Rezaul Karim said, "During the construction of this flyover, 14 people died. Now, they [CDA] blame the movement of overloaded vehicles. They are supposed to create height barriers to stop the movement of overloaded vehicles, which they have not done."
Meanwhile, due to the closure of the flyover, severe traffic jams have occurred on the roads on both sides of the flyover since Tuesday morning.