Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the Bogibeel bridge in Assam on Tuesday. Bogibeel bridge is a combined road and rail bridge over the Brahmaputra between Dhemaji district and Dibrugarh district. The Bogibeel Bridge, which was a part of the Assam Accord and sanctioned in 1997-98, is likely to play a crucial role in defence movement along the India-China border in Arunachal Pradesh. The foundation stone of the project was laid by former prime minister HD Deve Gouda on January 22, 1997, while work commenced on April 21, 2002, under the Atal Bihari Vajpayee-led government. December 25 happens to be Vajpayee’s birth anniversary.
The 4.9 km-long Bogibeel Bridge on the Bramhaputra river is India's only fully welded bridge for which European codes and welding standards were adhered to for the first time in the country, said chief engineer Mohinder Singh. The bridge has a two-line railway track on the lower deck and a three-lane road on the top deck. For the first time in Indian Railways, the girder has a steel floor system for railway tracks and concrete for road.
"Early flood in the river Brahmaputra restricted the working season to a very short period of approximately five months (from November to March) and demanded huge mobilization of construction equipment," said Singh.
Transportation of concrete across river channels of 600 metre to 900 metre width from both the north and south banks was the biggest challenge, he said. To overcome this, concrete was pumped through pipeline laid over buoys.
"Eighty-thousand tonnes of steel plates was delivered for the project via a combination of rail and road transport, while a 1,000-tonne hydraulic jack and strand jacks linked with the substructures were used for moving steel truss over the pillars," he said.
Because of the inordinate delay in implementation, the cost of the project escalated by 85 per cent to Rs 5,960 crore from the sanctioned estimated cost of Rs 3,230.02 crore. The total length of the bridge was also revised to 4.94 km from the earlier 4.31 km.
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(With agency inputs)