The-century-old Pamban Rail Bride, India’s first cantilever bridge and the functioning of the Scherzer’s span, installed in the bridge to pave way for vessels to pass through under the Pamban canal was inspected by O. P. Agarwal, General Manager, Rail Wheel Factory, Bangaluru.

Accompanied by senior section engineer (bridge) and local officials, Mr. Agarwal inspected the bridge and the functioning of the Scherzer’s span, also known as centre span for nearly an hour on Thursday.

In a brief chat with reporters, he said he wanted to inspect the bridge and the lifting arrangement of the navigational span after the gauge conversion in 2006 and was happy that the old arrangement was still working good. He said the Scherzer’s span was being replaced with vertical lifting single span and the new span would come in due course of time.

The Indian Railway has chosen the Rail Vikas Nigam Limited (RVNL) to execute the project and the work would commence after RVNL fixed an agency for reconstructing the navigational span, he said. Soon the existing cumbersome arrangement would go, he said. Mr Agarwal said he would not be able comment on the time limit for installing the new span and when the work would start. “Till the agencies are finalised, I will not be able to say anything,” he added.

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