The Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL) is implementing a structural design change along an 18-km stretch of Outer Ring Road (ORR) to optimize road space after construction. BMRCL officials have decided to replace Metro pillars with portal beam structures at six spots where split flyovers stand.
Benefits of the Structural Design Change
The new design eliminates the need for large pillars that would have resulted in the loss of space. This change is particularly crucial for the upcoming Blue Line of the Metro, which will connect Central Silk Board Junction and Kempegowda International Airport.
BMRCL officials acknowledge that the benefits of these changes will be realized in the long term. However, the immediate challenge lies in expediting work in the corridor while minimizing inconvenience for road users, including business establishments and traffic police.
How Portal Beam Structures Work
Portal beam structures consist of beams supported by columns at both ends. Instead of constructing wide pillars, BMRCL will build narrower columns to support the viaducts. Once the construction is complete, traffic will be allowed to flow in one direction between the two pillars.
Construction of portal beam structures is underway at several locations, including HSR Layout, Agara, Bellandur, Doddanekkundi, DRDO, and Deverabeesanahalli.
“By using the portal beam structure instead of traditional Metro pillars, we can optimize the available space and provide road widths of 5.5-6 meters for traffic flow. This design eliminates wastage of space between two flyovers,” explained Indra Bhushan Jha, the Executive Director of BMRCL, as reported by the Times Of India.
Challenges and Progress
BMRCL faces the immediate challenge of expediting work in the corridor while coordinating with various stakeholders to minimize inconvenience. The stretch along Outer Ring Road has been challenging for motorists even before the Metro work began, and it is important to ensure that further difficulties are avoided.
Despite the challenges, BMRCL is dedicated to optimizing road space and ensuring smoother traffic flow. Removing barricades to provide more space for traffic on the main carriageway is one of the steps taken by the agency wherever viaduct work is completed.
According to officials, the columns for the portal beam structures will have heights ranging from 12 meters to 16 meters.
Namma Metro, Kempegowda International Airport (KIA), Bangalore Outer Ring Road (ORR), Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation (BMRCL)
Data Table: Portal Beam Structure Locations