Chenab Bridge- Steel Arch & Other Awestrucking Features

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The Chenab Bridge is an Indian railway steel and concrete arch bridge under construction between Bakkal and Kauri in the Reasi district of Jammu and Kashmir, India.When completed, the bridge will span the Chenab River at a height of 359 m (1,178 ft) above the river, making it the world’s highest rail bridge. In November 2017 the base supports were declared completed allowing for the start of the construction of the main arch. Chenab Bridge, the world’s highest railway bridge in Jammu and Kashmir, is almost ready, and will likely open for railway operations soon. 

Chenab Bridge Steel Arch 

Union Railways Minister Piyush Goyal tweeted a photo of the main arch of an upcoming railway bridge over the Chenab river in Jammu and Kashmir’s Reasi district. Calling it an “infrastructure marvel in the making” the minister said that the 476 metre-long steel arch is “reaching at closure position.” “It is all set to be the world’s highest Railway bridge,” he added. The arch bridge is a part of an ambitious railway project connecting Kashmir to the rest of India. Work on putting the main arch began in November 2017.

As per Deepak Kumar, Chief Public Relations Officer, Northern Railway, the construction of arch closure will be completed by March 2021, whereas the construction of the bridge is expected to be completed by year end. Reports have it that viaduct and track laying work will start once the arch construction is completed.

After many deliberations, taking into account aesthetics, economy, and availability of local expertise and construction materials, the Chenab Bridge was designed as a large span single arch steel bridge with approach viaducts on either side. The arch is two-ribbed, fabricated from large steel trusses. The chords of the trusses are sealed steel boxes, internally stiffened and filled with concrete to assist in controlling wind-induced forces on the bridge. Another advantage of concrete filling is that internal painting will not be required. The number of bearings has been minimized, particularly on the approach viaduct, through the use of continuous construction. This is advantageous, as it reduces the maintenance and inspection efforts, and improves the riding quality. The viaduct piers are of concrete, while the piers near the arch are steel.

Awestrucking features of Chenab Bridge

  • Indian Railways has been constructing this bridge over the Chenab River, under Udhampur-Srinagar-Baramulla rail link project (USBRL).
  • The Rs 1,250-crore bridge will be 359 metres above the Chenab river bed and stand 35 metres taller than the iconic Eiffel Tower in Paris.
  • The railway bridge will be able to withstand up to 8 magnitude earthquakes and high-intensity blasts, railway officials had said at the time of the project launch. It will also have a “security setup” against possible terror threats and quakes, officials had said.
  • The overall length of the bridge is 1,315 metres.
  • It will be a key link in the 111-km stretch between Katra and Banihal which is part of the Udhampur-Srinagar-Baramulla section of the Kashmir Railway project.
  • The construction started in 2004, but the work was stopped in 2008-09 on the aspect of safety of rail passengers due to frequent high velocity winds in the area

Cover Image- India Today