Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Skywalks: IISc way to ease chaos

Originally uploaded by bangalorebuzz.
Photo Courtesy: The Times of India

Skywalks: IISc way to ease chaos
First Of Eight Walkways To Come Up In Two Months
The Times of India

Bangalore: The Indian Institute of Science (IISc) has for long been known for its contribution to science. But its role in the development of infrastructure in Bangalore is not so well known.

From underpass systems to an ongoing ambitious project to create elegant pedestrian skywalks in the city, IISc has been contributing its mite to Bangalore'€™s infrastructure. In 1998, scientists from the civil engineering department of IISc created underpass systems (subways for vehicles and pedestrians) to link portions of their campus separated by Tumkur Road and Toll Gate Road, near Mathikere. Regular traffic flow continued on these busy roads even as engineers burrowed away to create the subways. As many as 24 trees were spared the axe, thanks to the technique employed by the IISc scientists. They had used a system where a pre-cast box is pushed through the ground with a hydraulic jack - tunnelling like burrowing animals.

€œIt was the first time the technique was being used on virgin land. It had been used only to tunnel through railway embankments,€™ says senior civil engineering professor at IISc B.R. Srinivas Murthy. With the success of this project, IISc has received offers to implement similar underpasses in the city and places like Pune and Coimbatore. One such underpass at the Yelahanka Air Force Station€” cutting across Bellary Road ” was commissioned ahead of Aero India 2005.

But one of the most exciting infrastructure project on hand at IISc is the one to create skywalks for the Bangalore City Corporation.€œA skywalk is not a regular concrete pedestrian overbridge, but an elegant walkway offering ample space for pedestrians and advertisers,€™ says professor Murthy.The civil engineering department at IISc has now developed a final design for the skywalks in Bangalore and transferred them to a private engineering company who will set it up for the BCC.

The first skywalk for the city is scheduled to be in place in two months, while a total of eight is expected to be ready by the year-end .It is a reusable, modular pre-fabricated type of skywalk, made of steel pipes. It can be erected quickly and is portable in nature. IISc engineers will inspect and certify the structures. The initial skywalks, however, will function merely as glorified pedestrian overbridges.€œIf the project is a success we can create longer skywalks €” for instance€” between Mysore Bank Circle and the railway station or between buildings. At present due to the cost factor the maximum length is only 28 metres,€™ says professor Murthy.

Skywalks scheduled to be completed by the end of the year
1. Lalbagh Main Gate
2. Jayanagar 30th Cross bus stand
3. Cunningham Road, near Wockhardt
4. K.H. Road, Shantinagar bus terminal
5. Airport Road, near Kemp Fort
6. Residency Road near Bishop Cotton Boys School
7. R.V. Road, near Vijaya College
8. West of Chord Road, near Iskcon Temple


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