Called Bogibeel, or white wetland, it’s to be Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘Christmas gift’ to the nation and Assam and Arunachal Pradesh in particular: India’s longest railroad bridge, the Bogibeel Bridge costs 4,857 crores.
The ceremony to mark the opening of the bridge coincides with the 94th birth anniversary of the former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, who passed away in August.
It is the second largest bridge in Asia with three-lane roads on top and a double-line railway track below.
The bridge is 32 meters above the water level of the Brahmaputra and fashioned on a bridge linking Sweden and Denmark. While the journey from Dibrugarh to Delhi currently takes more than 37 hours, the new bridge is likely to reduce the commute by three hours.
The superstructure of the bridge was built by the joint venture of Hindustan Construction Company Germany-based DSD Brouckenbau and VNR Infrastructure. It is also the country’s only bridge to have fully welded steel-concrete composite girders. The total length of welding to be carried out is about 12,800 kilometers, equivalent to circling around the moon 1.5 times.
First sanctioned at a cost of Rs 3,230.02 crore, the cost of the Bogibeel Bridge was later revised to Rs 4,857 crores, mainly due to cost escalation and increase in its length to nearly 5 km as against 4.31 proposed earlier.
The super-structure of the Bogibeel bridge is fully welded Composite Warren type truss having the configuration of 1×32.75 m + 39x125m + 1×32.75 m with two BG tracks on the lower deck and three-lane road on the top deck.
The superstructure of the bridge has been constructed for the first time. The composite welded truss has been designed by M/s Ramboll, Denmark through M/s RITES Ltd and has been proof-checked by M/s Anwikar Consultant, Germany. It is estimated that the bridge is durable and serviceable for 120 years.
Three million bags of cement, 19,250 mt reinforcement steel, and 2,800 mt structural steel were used for the construction of the mammoth structure. For the superstructure of the main bridge, 77,000 mt of steel fabrication was required.
The bridge will enhance the national security of the eastern region by facilitating the swift movement of defence forces and their equipment. It was constructed in such a way that even a fighter jet can land on it in case of emergency,” a defence source said.
Northeast India, thus, is ignited by fresh hopes for not only its own progress and development but also for playing an increasingly important role in the economic, social and strategic development of the country.
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