Thursday, April 04, 2019

Bogibeel, The longest Rail- Cum - Road Bridge in India

Bogibeel bridge is a combined road and rail bridge over the Brahmaputra river in the north eastern Indian state of Assam between Dhemaji district and Dibrugarh district, which was started in the year 2002 and took a total of 200 months to complete, heavy rainfall in the region being the main cause for the slow progress. Bogibeel river bridge is the longest rail-cum-road bridge in India measuring 4.94 kilometres over the Brahmaputra river. As it is situated in an earthquake-prone area it is India's first bridge to have fully welded steel-concrete support beams that can withstand earthquakes of magnitudes up to 7 on the Richter Scale.

Bogibeel bridge
This is also Asia’s 2nd longest rail-cum-road bridge and has a serviceable period of around 120 years. This is the 5th longest bridge in India after Bhupen Hazarika Setu, Dibang River Bridge, Mahatma Gandhi Setu and Bandra-Worli Sea Link. The bridge was constructed by a consortium of construction companies headed by Hindustan Construction Company. It was inaugurated by prime minister Narendra Modi on 25th December 2018 on the occasion of Good Governance Day.

The Bogibeel bridge traces its origins to the Assam Accord of 1985 and was one of several major infrastructural projects to be set up in Assam in accordance with the pact. It was sanctioned by the Government of India in 1997-98 and was expected to be completed by the end of the Ninth Five Year Plan. The foundation of the bridge was laid in January 1997 by Prime Minister H.D.Deva Gowda, but its construction was inaugurated only in 2002 by Prime Minister, A.B. Vajpayee. The project was to be completed in six years following the inauguration, however the work did not begin until 2007, owing to lack of funds and attention. Consequently, that same year, the Bogibeel bridge was granted a national project status by the Government of India in 2007 by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, but the implementation was slow, notwithstanding a Congress government in Assam. The Union Ministry of Finance funded 75% of the project costs while the Ministry of Railways financed the rest. The actual work on the project only began in 2011.

The design of Bogibeel bridge has 39 spans of 125 m and a superstructure of composite welded steel truss and reinforced concrete. It is designed to carry a double line 1,676 mm (5 ft 6 in) broad gauge railway on the lower deck and a 2-lane road on the upper deck. With its proximity to the China border, the bridge also has tremendous significance for India's defence and has been built strong enough to support the movement of tanks and even fighter jet landings. It is the longest combined rail and road bridge in India and second longest bridge in Assam over the river Brahmaputra after Bhupen Hazarika Setu which is a road bridge of length 9.15 km.

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