FTC Bridge Swings?

FTC%20Bridge.gifThe first time it happened I thought it is some beggar leaning against my car that was stuck in a jam atop the superstructure of the FTC Bridge. The second time, I attributed it to some dizziness I might be carrying home from the office in the evening. But the third time around, I realized what was happening and I couldn’t wait to get off the bridge.

When, coming from Kala Pull, you take the FTC flyover to join Shahra-e-Faisal, you are bound to get a traffic jam which will have you stuck right on the deck (superstructure) of the bridge. The traffic jam wait on the deck can range anywhere from half a minute to ten minutes depending on whether or not the traffic cops are regulating the bridge traffic descending to join SF. And just when your car is completely stationary on the deck of the bridge, you will find the bridge moving almost like a boat. The more you feel it, the scarier it gets.

I am trying to ask around from structural engineers whether this could be a design feature or a disaster in its initial swings. I wonder what percentage of the 109 million for which the bridge was built actually got into the action.

32 Comments so far

  1. MB (unregistered) on March 20th, 2007 @ 3:33 pm

    I am sure when this bridge was planned to be constructed, someone must have jumped in instantly to point out that : Hey wow, we are having this & that , hey Karachi is progressing…….

    Now do you understand why few shout that better have proper roads & projects on ground rather grand ideas in sky when standards can’t be ensured.


  2. Sajid (unregistered) on March 20th, 2007 @ 4:02 pm

    Hmm.. goto native jetty bridge and you’ll feel like if you are drunk whenever a heavy duty truck will cross that bridge.


  3. fAr stAr (unregistered) on March 20th, 2007 @ 4:23 pm

    same for the baloch colony flyover, specially when a train passes below it.


  4. Teeth Maestro (unregistered) on March 20th, 2007 @ 4:44 pm

    Welcome to the fold Tee Emm – now we have to create a new acronym for my ;) the Tee Emm is a registered trademark long before I stepped into the fold with Teeth Maestro sometimes referred to as TM ;)

    So who gets the bragging rights to the acronym


  5. Adnan Siddiqi (unregistered) on March 20th, 2007 @ 4:46 pm

    TEE EMM Shahab Welcome to KMB. I was not sure whether you are same “TeeEmm” or not. Just confirmed it by a KMB author :> I wonder what kept you away from this blog for long time?

    I’m looking forward to read local IT related+(few others) posts from your side :-)


  6. umar (unregistered) on March 20th, 2007 @ 4:54 pm

    maybe they did it to prevent the bridge collapsing from earthquake jolts?


  7. F. AHMED (unregistered) on March 20th, 2007 @ 5:00 pm

    Every structure has to be a little elastic otherwise it will not last for long…. some big towers/bldgs swing a few feet in strong wind, they are designed that way

    iam not sure that they designed this particular bridge that was or this was something more serious….well i guess i will find out for myself in a few weeks when i visit khiEvery structure has to be a little elastic otherwise it will not last for long…. some big towers/bldgs swing a few feet in strong wind, they are designed that way

    iam not sure that they designed this particular bridge that was or this was something more serious….well i guess i will find out for myself in a few weeks when i visit khi


  8. F. AHMED (unregistered) on March 20th, 2007 @ 5:03 pm

    Every structure has to be a little elastic otherwise it will not last for long…. some big towers/bldgs swing a few feet in strong wind, they are designed that way

    iam not sure that they designed this particular bridge that was or this was something more serious….well i guess i will find out for myself in a few weeks when i visit khiEvery structure has to be a little elastic otherwise it will not last for long…. some big towers/bldgs swing a few feet in strong wind, they are designed that way

    iam not sure that they designed this particular bridge that was or this was something more serious….well i guess i will find out for myself in a few weeks when i visit khi


  9. Jamal Shamsi (unregistered) on March 20th, 2007 @ 5:10 pm

    Supposedly it is made EARTHQUAKE proof – Where as I have singularly pointed out “few” developing cracks in the pillars and the spans of the bridge thru digital camera images to the KARACHI NAZIM OFFICE – They pay no heed – Finally when a friend came to town through him, I gave the printed pics to DHA & Cantonment board in 2006 November, who own the jurisdiction.

    What happens and when it happens, no idea but one day in Feb I saw few FWO trucks and some nafry in supervision of Major & a Colnel doing some inspection work. –

    Keep fingers crossed. – ! – Naimat Ullah Saheb please visit and see,


  10. Obi Wan Kenobi (unregistered) on March 20th, 2007 @ 6:20 pm

    Okay I got a daily dose for today “some big towers/bldgs swing a few feet in strong wind”. Now I will visit this site tomorrow. This is the height of exaggeration.


  11. Saqib (unregistered) on March 20th, 2007 @ 6:29 pm

    All big structures do move and thats is something which is in their design. I have felt tremors as well on the said bridge and i think its nothing to be worried about :)


  12. Newb3e (unregistered) on March 20th, 2007 @ 6:43 pm

    koi nahi tohra say hi hilta hai na
    mustafa kamal will destroy it and build it from scratch only 5% commision Mehran builders will get the contract masla tohri na hai


  13. F. AHMED (unregistered) on March 20th, 2007 @ 6:46 pm

    @Obi Wan Kenobi

    iam not joking…huge structure are made that way u can find it out through google:))

    @Newb3e:

    nice one! who can dispute that@Obi Wan Kenobi

    iam not joking…huge structure are made that way u can find it out through google:))

    @Newb3e:

    nice one! who can dispute that


  14. F. AHMED (unregistered) on March 20th, 2007 @ 7:00 pm

    @Obi Wan Kenobi

    i did not say that bridges like the FTC move by a few feet so don’t go to the FTC and stand there and wait for it to move by a few feet!!

    some of the tallest buildings do move by a feet or more during strong wind!


  15. F. AHMED (unregistered) on March 20th, 2007 @ 7:02 pm

    you can even feel vibration while travelling on the Garhoud and Maktoum bridges, here in dubai.

    but i won’t call them tremors but somtimes strong vibrations can surely be felt!


  16. Hasan Zuberi (unregistered) on March 20th, 2007 @ 7:30 pm

    I felt the shaking on both FTC (my frequent route to home) as well as on Native Jetty … good to see the reality … its not my mind but the bridges … which are swinging.


  17. Adnan (unregistered) on March 20th, 2007 @ 7:48 pm

    Yeah this swinging effect on bridges is might new for karachites. But in reality they are supposed to be made like that to provide resistance against earthquakes. And one fellow point out abt native jetty bridge. Yeah the swing is included in the design topology of that bridge aswell.


  18. d0ct0r (unregistered) on March 20th, 2007 @ 8:11 pm

    this effect is quite evident on Jinnah Bridge near karachi port… where all the heavy vehicle pass towards maripur and liyari expressway…


  19. lee (unregistered) on March 20th, 2007 @ 9:13 pm

    Welcome to the fucked up country called Pakistan


  20. fullstop (unregistered) on March 20th, 2007 @ 9:21 pm

    Welcome to the sad country where people jump on every opportunity to criticize even if they don’t know what they are talking about (in this case, how structures work)


  21. d0ct0r (unregistered) on March 20th, 2007 @ 10:36 pm

    btw welcome to kmb.. just noticed that its your 1st post on kmb…


  22. Inspirex (unregistered) on March 20th, 2007 @ 10:52 pm

    @obi wan okebi:
    Yes, skyscrapers are known to sway in the wind. habib bank plaza or mcb tower would only sway by inches though. their height-width ratio is fairly large. Skyscrapers tend to have lower ratios.

    @tee emm: yes, all bridges sway lightly. Thats actually because the pillars supporting them have an elastic material between them and the deck. The material can range from specialized rubber to hydraulic columns.

    In addition, the deck is also composed of components which are connected by expansion joints to compensate for expansion and contraction as the weather changes. Tthis is required because the deck contains more metal steel grid lining than other areas.

    Expansions joints and the support pads both allow slight movement, which is initiated when large vehicles cross over it OR when they are subjected to high wind velocities.

    bottom line: its normal.


  23. Kashif (unregistered) on March 21st, 2007 @ 12:28 am

    Ghalat ban gaya hay, lets make it again.

    Btw do we have any other examples (besides khi) of traffic police stopping traffic at the exit of a flyover? with vehicles inching from ramp to ramp.


  24. d0ct0r (unregistered) on March 21st, 2007 @ 2:24 am

    whole purpose of flyover goes down the drain if traffic police stops traffic on the ramp… flyover were meant to ensure smooth and uninterrupted traffic flow.. but here coz of stupid planning.. even on signal free corridor one gets stuck in a traffic jam..


  25. Adnan (unregistered) on March 21st, 2007 @ 6:47 am

    @Doctor it might be planning.. but neither do any one in karachi know how to drive.. and thats is the major reason of traffic jams in karachi.. no one have patience there behind the wheels.
    results in traffic jams, no one gives right of way to others over there .
    So its not over all becasue of poor planning.


  26. Obi Wan Kenobi (unregistered) on March 21st, 2007 @ 8:43 am

    F. Ahmed and Inspirex. Please enlighten yourselves with following links. I said that a feet oscillation was an exaggeration. Empire state building swing only 5 mm, it is not even an inch. Most structures swing only few cm and they are un noticable.

    http://blog.modernmechanix.com/2007/02/16/new-facts-about-skyscrapers/
    http://www.bdcnetwork.com/articleXml/LN573063670.html
    http://www.greatgridlock.net/NYC/nythr-17.html

    This IEEE paper might also help for curious minds

    http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/xpl/freeabs_all.jsp?tp=&arnumber=239569&isnumber=6143

    Inspirex, please don’t ever talk to me again if you do not know Obi Wan and can’t spell him :-(


  27. TURAB (unregistered) on March 21st, 2007 @ 11:06 am

    please don’t blame your lack of structural engineering knowledge on MUSHI…..

    bridges are allowed to be flexible. so please chillax ……..


  28. Jamal Shamsi (unregistered) on March 21st, 2007 @ 11:19 am

    right of way ?? Where might is right, everyone tries to be mightier then the one ahead of him.

    Try slowing down at tarffic light when it changes to amber and you will get that proved.

    Last night I came to halt on a red light at 11.35 on Tipu Sultan & Shahrea Faisal crossing, on Shahrae Faisal – Traffic was thin, a Vitz starting honking, i moved an inch, the swuverd and screeched showing me bridie right when he was in middle of crossing, BANG, A Police Mazda veering from Shahrae Faisal to Tipu Sultan.

    Might is right or ?????


  29. Keep Walking! (unregistered) on March 21st, 2007 @ 4:57 pm

    It’s not a big deal! What a waste of KMB space


  30. F. AHMED (unregistered) on March 21st, 2007 @ 5:25 pm

    @Keep Walking:

    let people talk/chat, even if the topics are not very important.

    we have to take out our stress somewhere.

    torhee bharas nekal latain haain, kisee ka kiya jataa hay:))

    it’s much better then other negative activities:))


  31. Obi Wan Kenobi (unregistered) on March 21st, 2007 @ 6:26 pm

    My comment has been upheld for moderation for last 12 hours … Any one please ?


  32. F. AHMED (unregistered) on March 21st, 2007 @ 6:49 pm

    @Obi Wan Kenobi:

    it is good that your comments have been upheld…u should be happy with that.

    better then being heldup, i guess?



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