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Railways closes arch of Chenab, world’s highest bridge

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on April 05, 2021

The arch, the most difficult part of the multi-crore bridge over Chenab, is a major leap towards the completion of the 111-km-long stretch from Katra to Banihal   -  PTI

Built using novel technology, the 1,315-m-long bridge will connect Kanyakumari with Kashmir

Indian Railways completed the arch segment on Chenab bridge, the highest rail bridge in the world, on Monday.

The bridge has many firsts, including the technology being used, said officials from Northern Railway, Konkan Railway and Udhampur Baramulla Srinagar Rail Link (UBSRL) project.

The bridge is expected to be completed by March next year, a Northern Railway official said.

“But trains will not start running as there are tunnels and other projects that have to be completed. Overall, the project is expected to be complete by March 2023,” added the official.

On DRDO’s advice, the bridge has been made blast proof to withstand high intensity earthquakes, and an NABL-accredited testing lab was set up at the location. A security system will be put in place.

This rail link will connect Kashmir Valley with the rest of the country.

One of the largest cable cranes was set up for the project; roads had to be built to reach the construction site, and a mini-township with 600 dwelling units for construction was set up by the Railways. Now, the arch has to be filled with concrete.

This is a part of UBSRL rail project that will directly connect Kanyakumari with Kashmir.

Features

The 1,315-m long bridge is located 359 m above river bed. The steel used is suitable for temperatures from -10°C to 40°C. Construction of the bridge used fabrication of 28,660 million tonne of steel, 10 lakh cu m earthwork, 66,000 cu m concrete and 26 km of motorable roads.

The bridge is designed to withstand high wind speeds of over 250 kmph.

Global expertise was also used for the engineering marvel – with Leonhardt, Andra and Partners, Germany, involved in designing; firms from UK, and expertise from IIT-Delhi and Indian Institute of Science Bangalore was used. The contractor for the project is Chenab Bridge Project Undertaking (Afcons with other players). The process of closing the arch started on February 20, 2021.

Published on April 05, 2021

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