Part-2-USBRL Project: Iconic Bridge on J&K’s River Chenab built 35 mtrs higher than iconic Eiffel tower in France

Bridge comprises 785 meters long steel arch spread over river; Bridge designed for blast load in consultation with DRDO; Construction of bridge taken after detailed survey; Bridge constructed to bear earthquakes; work on track laying going on, bridge to be operational soon: Officials

Umaiser Gul Ganai

The Indian Railways has achieved a major feat by constructing the world’s highest rail bridge built over River Chenab which is 35 meters higher than iconic Eiffel tower in Paris, France.

A senior Indian Railways official told news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO), said that on Katra-Banihal section of USBRL Project, one special bridge across the river Chenab is being built at a height of 359m from the bed level (Height of Qutab Minar is 72 mtrs and of Eiffel Tower is 324 mtrs).

“The Chenab Bridge, at 359 m above river bed, will be the highest rail Arch Bridge in the world, and longest arch span of 467 m (overall 7th longest single span bridge in the world),” the official said.

He said that the bridge is an engineering marvel being built over the mystic Chenab River referred to as the moon river in folklores. “A favourable site between Bakkal (Jammu end) and Kauri (Srinagar end) was chosen for the construction of this megastructure after doing detailed survey of the entire region in the vicinity.

“The Chenab Bridge is 35 meter higher than the iconic Eiffel tower in Paris, France. The length of the bridge is 1,315 m which consists of 785 m long steel arch span over the river in tandem with 530 m long viaduct,” the official said.

The unique features of the bridge includes highest Railway Bridge in the world at 359 Meters height which is 35m higher than Eiffel Tower, Paris, the official said. He said that concrete filled trusses in Arch were used for the first time in India.

“Power operated cars for inspection and maintenance of bridge are also being provided for the first time in India. A continuous health monitoring and warning system is being provided for State of Art Instrumentation. Cable crane assembly used for erection of Steel members of Bridge has a span of 915 meters, one of the longest in the world,” he said, adding that “one of the Pylon of Cable crane at height of 127m is higher than Qutab Minar of 72 m.”

The official said that for the first time, bridge has been designed for Blast Load in consultation with DRDO. “It has phased Array Ultrasonic Testing machine for inspection of welds. For the first time, NABL (National Accreditation Board for Laboratories) accredited Lab has been setup at site for testing of welded elements in Indian Railways,” he said. “Bridge is designed to bear earthquake forces of zone V. This has a highest steel pier at 130.855 M at S-40 foundation is higher than Qutab Minar of 72m,” he said.

The official said that the construction of bridge involved many challenges that includes road access of site of Chenab bridge was first challenge to be tackled. “Approximately 15 kms of road was constructed to reach Srinagar end of Chenab Bridge and 11 km of road was constructed to reach Jammu end of Chenab Bridge,” he said.

The official said that the erection of arch of 10619 meters was also completed in May, 2021. “Arch erection was done from both ends and closure of arch was one of the most important milestone in the construction of Chenab Bridge which was carried out in the presence of GM/ Northern Railway,” he said. “Another milestone of completion of launching of main span and closure of Golden Joint (Junction of Deck segments launched from Jammu and Srinagar end) was achieved on August 13, 2022.”

The officials said that now Work of Miscellaneous activities & Track laying is on-going on Chenab Bridge and Chenab Bridge will be in operation very soon—(KNO)

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