On the night of January 9th, police stopped traffic on the Atyrau central highway bridge. This was preceded by urgent information from the president of Atyrau Heating Networks JSC Nuradin Shamshatov for the Emergency Situations Depatment and acting Akim of the city Rinat Dzhanglishov.
‘During an inspection, a displacement was found in the sliding supports of the heating networks with a diameter of 426mm passing in the abutments of the central bridge. Over the past two days, as a result of the destruction of the supports and structures of the heating network, the displacement was more than 70mm and the process continues. To carry out work to prevent a possible gap we have asked that the bridge be closed to vehicle traffic from 0 hours on January 10th.
Why has this been discovered now? Why were the defects not found during the winter preparation? When will the bridge reopen? Shamshatov refused to answer any of these questions and was very abrupt with journalists. Meanwhile in October last year, during a press tour, he assured all that winter preparations had been completed in full. The bridge remains open to pedestrian traffic only.
Dzhanglishov told the “AZh” correspondent that the cause of the displacement of heating networks in the abutments was due to deterioration.
‘The bridge will remain closed until the heating networks are returned to good condition. There is no threat of collapse of the bridge, said Dzhanglishov. ‘In order to avoid transport collapse, I will order the reopening to traffic of the bridge as soon as works are complete.
by Murat SULTANGALIYEV
photos by Nurbeibit NUGMANOV