The construction work of world's tallest railway bridge, knownto be Chenab bridge, over the river Chenab in the terrain of Jammu and Kashmir is on the full swing.
Designed by foreign consultants from Finland and Germany, the 1.315 km-long bridge and 359 metres tall is stated to be an iconic bridge and an engineering marvel of the world. The bridge, is in fact, 35 metres taller than the Eiffel Tower.
The bridge forms the crucial link in the 111-km stretch between Katra and Banihal which is part of the Udhampur- Srinagar-Baramulla section of the Kashmir Railway project.
Since the area is in a high seismic zone and also near the border, special care is being taken by the DRDO to equip the Rs 12,000-crore bridge to save itself from any major blast in the region.
Currently, 1,400 men are working through the day to complete the structure by March, 2019.
"It is an incredible undertaking because you are building a very large steel bridge in a very remote location and getting those competent contractors to get the job done," said David Mackenzie, a UK-based quality consultant.
Earlier, the area was inaccessible so the railways had to make 22 km of roads as access path for the construction of the bridge. For the security measures, an online monitoring and warning system shall be installed on the bridge to protect passengers and trains in critical conditions. Sensors on the bridge will also be installed to check the wind velocity and as soon as the wind speed exceeds 90 kmph, the signal on the track will turn red, preventing train movement.
Steel was the chosen material to construct the humongous bridge as it is more economical and able to resist temperatures of minus 20 degrees Celsius and wind speeds of above 250 kmph.
There will also be a ropeway on the bridge for inspection and maintenance purposes. It will require a mammoth 24,000-plus tonnes of steel to construct the bridge.
In order to enhance safety and security, the bridge will be made of 63 mm-thick special blast-proof steel in the region prone to frequent terror attacks. The concrete pillars of the bridge are designed to withstand explosions. The bridge will include a 14 metre-wide dual carriageway and a 1.2 metre-wide central verge.
The structure will be painted with a special corrosion- resistant paint which lasts for 15 years. Also the officials added that footpaths and cycle trails will also be provided adjacent to it.
This projects is hereby expected to contribute to the economic development of the state and help in providing better transportation accessibility within the state and the country.