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Old 9th July 2014, 10:00   #1
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Default Flyovers: Water drainage menace

Of the multitude of perils encountered on Indian roads, nothing is more unexpected than bad drainage from a flyover (or any overhead bridge / building).

Picture this. It's night and there's rain. Visibility is not great, the wiper is on medium, traffic is bumper-to-bumper and you're inching along. Above the road is a flyover (or metro track). This would suggest the path underneath is sheltered and safe from the rain. Right ? Wrong -- as many motorists find out every time they are beneath the under-construction Kolkata East-West elevated metro corridor on the Eastern Metropolitan Bypass -- connecting Salt Lake to the rest of central and southern Kolkata. At every 50 metres there's a storm drain that channels the water runoff from the surface of the elevated metro track into openings that open right above the road!! Even in moderate rain, there's a mini waterfall crashing down from about 40-50 feet up. It's a major visibility problem and also seems to have enough force to cause minor deformations on bonnets and tops (since the force is concentrated into a small area). Wiper alignment and moving wiper blades could also be affected by this runoff hitting the vehicle at some freak angle that maximises force. Two-wheelers could have a particularly bad problem I imagine. And of course, this results in increased chances of a angular bump as drivers go all out to change lanes trying to avoid the waterfall. It's a horrible feeling to be stuck in a slow moving lane and spotting one of these and knowing there's no way out. The worst part is that there is no uniformity and the openings seem to vary considerably in placement along the way (so difficult to pick a 'safe' lane). Which makes me wonder -- don't engineers who design these expensive civil works have any idea about the danger of letting water drain in this manner on motorists / two wheelers? Even when we waterproofed our house few hours ago, my father ensured that drainage holes in the roof were fitted with three foot long PVC pipes that had a sieve in the end to break up the water flow (-- and that was for a height of 25 feet only). Why can't they design civil works a bit more safe with some thought for motorists. Here are a couple of photos taken while stuck in traffic showing the run-offs.

Flyovers: Water drainage menace-copy-dsc00276.jpg

Flyovers: Water drainage menace-copy-dsc00278.jpg

Last edited by Kumar R : 9th July 2014 at 10:23.
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Old 9th July 2014, 10:11   #2
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Default re: Flyovers: Water drainage menace

On a lighter note, I do tend to use these for a free car wash! But yes, the sudden splash of water on the windscreen does make it difficult especially in bumper to bumper traffic. Moreover, it causes severe water logging on the road below.
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Old 9th July 2014, 13:06   #3
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Default Re: Flyovers: Water drainage menace

Some of those waterfalls are quite wide with a huge volume of water falling down - quite scary actually. Any idea how water is rain water is discharged from flyovers built in developed countries?
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Old 9th July 2014, 13:18   #4
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Default Re: Flyovers: Water drainage menace

We too have them here in Bangalore, but as an exception. Most points on the flyovers/metro over-bridges have drain pipes which bring the water down gracefully into the common area in the middle. But there are some places where water pours on to the road, which is a pain, esp for two wheelers who try to duck it and come abruptly in the path of 4 wheelers, which is a bigger risk.
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Old 9th July 2014, 13:19   #5
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Default Re: Flyovers: Water drainage menace

Quote:
Originally Posted by smartcat View Post
Some of those waterfalls are quite wide with a huge volume of water falling down - quite scary actually. Any idea how water is rain water is discharged from flyovers built in developed countries?
In Mumbai I have seen many flyovers having a proper drainage system for this water.

As we have it on our buildings' terraces, same way there is a drainage pipe from the flyover going right to the sewer in the road underneath.

Like this. P.S: Ignore the small pipe on the left side of the main drain pipe I'm talking about :P

-Bhargav
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Flyovers: Water drainage menace-11-powai.jpg  

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Old 9th July 2014, 14:36   #6
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Default Re: Flyovers: Water drainage menace

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kumar R View Post
At every 50 metres there's a storm drain that channels the water runoff from the surface of the elevated metro track into openings that open right above the road!! Even in moderate rain, there's a mini waterfall crashing down from about 40-50 feet up. It's a major visibility problem and also seems to have enough force to cause minor deformations on bonnets and tops (since the force is concentrated into a small area). Wiper alignment and moving wiper blades could also be affected by this runoff hitting the vehicle at some freak angle that maximises force. Two-wheelers could have a particularly bad problem I imagine. And of course, this results in increased chances of a angular bump as drivers go all out to change lanes trying to avoid the waterfall.
Bang on i can very well connect to what you said. I travel through this road frequently and i must say during monsoons its horrible specially in the eveing with heavy traffic.

Quote:
Originally Posted by smartcat View Post
Some of those waterfalls are quite wide with a huge volume of water falling down - quite scary actually. Any idea how water is rain water is discharged from flyovers built in developed countries?
What i understand here is the water leakage is from the joining of the two separate concrete structures. They have not sealed the joining properly. That's utter negligence from there side. We can clearly see they have not even bothered to attach a drainage pipe.

Flyovers: Water drainage menace-copy-dsc00276.jpg

Normally what happens is over a fly over there are steel gratings.

Flyovers: Water drainage menace-storm_drain.jpg

Through these the water on the flyover enters and its connected to the pipes. These pipes are tagged along the pillars of the flyover through which the water comes down.

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With proper architectural design these drainage pipes are connected to the sewage system. But where they are open to the road they results in water logging to the below roads.
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Old 9th July 2014, 20:23   #7
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Default Re: Flyovers: Water drainage menace

Quote:
Originally Posted by Octane_Power View Post
In Mumbai I have seen many flyovers having a proper drainage system for this water.

-Bhargav
As pointed out by Octane_Power, flyovers in Mumbai do tend to have drainage systems installed on them, but quite a few of them discharge the water right onto the road instead of into the sewer system causing water logging and flooding.

A case in point is the flyover constructed outside Thane railway station (west), which allows the public transport buses access in and out of the station premises. Sadly right now even those drainage pipes have been dismantled and now the water discharge falls directly below onto all and sundry below. Since this flyover is at the mouth of a very busy station, people moving in and out of the station also are at the receiving end of the water discharge from the flyover.
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Old 10th July 2014, 14:01   #8
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Default Re: Flyovers: Water drainage menace

I think even in Bangalore they have proper drainage, never saw such a scenario. Will definitely keep my eyes open next time it is raining, to see if i had just missed this point all together.
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Old 10th July 2014, 15:15   #9
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Default Re: Flyovers: Water drainage menace

With Metro-rail work on-going in Chennai, there are few 'under-construction' places where such splattering happens. But I have not seen such a thing in 'constructed' flyovers / metro-rail within Chennai.

Potentially, with such volume and velocity they could shatter the windshield.
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Old 10th July 2014, 15:20   #10
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Default Re: Flyovers: Water drainage menace

Free car wash! You must be joking, what if left over debris on flyover gets carried with water and falls over your car or some 2W rider's head!
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Old 10th July 2014, 16:00   #11
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Default Re: Flyovers: Water drainage menace

At least on the BETL, there is no proper drainage. As in there are pipes to take away the water from the road above but all it does is deliver this water right onto the road below. It water logs and makes it worse for the traffic below - especially 2 wheelers.

Scary.
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Old 10th July 2014, 22:09   #12
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Default Re: Flyovers: Water drainage menace

In Mumbai I have been a victim of the same thing at the Tilak Marg while going to Vadala. It catches you unawares and if the window is open, sorts of give you an instant shower. Though it doesn't rain a lot in Delhi, I am yet to witness incidents like those there.
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Old 10th July 2014, 23:48   #13
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Default Re: Flyovers: Water drainage menace

Though not common, these "Waterfall" scenarios do happen in Delhi too.

Delhi Metro has an overhead line running toward Nehru Place from Moolchand Hospital side. Along the way, somewhere before the Sant Nagar crossing, I've seen these kind of waterfalls.

Though in fairness, I believe it's an effect of the storm water drain being clogged, specially around the inlet sieve point shown in one of the above posts. And I know DMRC is usually pretty observant in getting these cleaned (unlike the rest of the Municipal bodies).

All this is a definite risk to two wheeler riders, and can be pretty damaging for other vehicles too.

Sam
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Old 11th July 2014, 00:34   #14
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This is either very poor design or the contractor must have tried to cut costs by neglecting the drain pipes. Wonder if the original plan could be obtained via RTI
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Old 11th July 2014, 12:19   #15
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Default Re: Flyovers: Water drainage menace

Nice thread. The other day while coming back from office I was thinking about the same thing. I unfortunately have to go through a series of these waterfalls everyday if its raining. Its on my daily commute to office. I always try and avoid it but if the traffic density is high, then there is no option but to go head on. You can easily make out from the sound that the impact is much more than the roof sheet metal is capable of handling.

Also, I have seen bikes & cars swerving dangerously to avoid these waterfalls which is another way to invite accidents.
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