Modi inaugurates Bogibeel rail-cum-road bridge -- India's longest -- over Brahmaputra

A view of the Bogibeel bridge over the Brahmaputra in Assam, which was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on December 25, 2018
A view of the Bogibeel bridge over the Brahmaputra in Assam, which was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on December 25, 2018
Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the country's longest rail-cum-road bridge in Bogibeel over the Brahmaputra river, that connects Dhemaji and Dibrugarh in Assam, on Tuesday.
Later, Modi and his cavalcade took a ride on the bridge, stopping in the middle and waving at thousands of people waiting on either sides.
Built at an estimated cost of over Rs 5,000 crore, the bridge is expected to help over five million people living in Assam and Arunachal Pradesh and significantly enhance India's defence capability by ensuring faster movement of troops and supplies to the eastern border with China.
The foundation stone of the bridge was laid by the then Prime Minister of H. D. Devegowda in 1997. The construction works started only in 2002 when Atal Bihari Vajpayee was the Prime Minister.
The bridge, situated 17 km downstream of Dibrugarh spans the Brahmaputra river and connects the town in the south to Dhemaji to the river's north.
It is located just over 20 km away from the Assam-Arunachal Pradesh border and is thus expected to act as an alternative to the Kolia Bhomora Setu in Tezpur.
Earlier, on his arrival at the Mohanbari airport near Dibrugarh, Modi was received by Assam Governor Jagdish Mukhi and Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal. He later left for Bogibeel in a helicopter.
The strategic 4.9 km rail-cum-road bridge, built by Hindustan Construction Company (HCC), is the first fully welded steel bridge and the longest rail-cum-road bridge in India.
HCC constructed the entire 4.9 km-long superstructure, a press release from the company said.
"Bogibeel bridge will provide connectivity to nearly five million people residing in Upper Assam and Arunachal Pradesh. The project boasts of multiple benefits such as strategic and speedier access for defence forces to the Indo-China border, seamless access for medical facilities to remote north-eastern states, and most importantly reducing by nearly 10 hours the transportation distance between NH-37 and NH-52, saving transportation cost, time and fuel," the release said.
Mr. Arjun Dhawan, Director & Group Chief Executive Officer, HCC said, “HCC has time and again undertaken complex infrastructure projects that are benchmarks in India’s infrastructure journey. Bogibeel Bridge is an engineering masterpiece which has many technical firsts to its name. It is India’s first fully welded Warren truss girder type steel bridge. Not only has an incremental launching technique for superstructure erection been used for the first time in India, it is also the world’s longest incrementally launched steel bridge. HCC is proud to create such marvels for the nation.”
"The HCC team through its sheer determination and grit completed this project, as bridging the mighty Brahmaputra has always been a daunting task. The river is extremely difficult to bridge due to various reasons including its ferocious and unpredictable behaviour, high currents and turbulent waters, widespread erosion of the banks, short working period, high seismicity and the sheer remoteness of the area. With the width ranging from 1.2 km to 18 km, the Brahmaputra has been bridged only four times in the past; HCC holds the distinction of building two of these bridges and has now constructed the fifth," the release said.
The superstructure of the Bogibeel bridge has been constructed using special copper-bearing steel plates in order to reduce corrosion. Furthermore, due to excessive humidity in the area, a complex Corrosion Protection System specific to different components of the bridge has been implemented. To offer good stability to the heavy spans (1700 MT), seismic restrainers are provided. The bridge is designed to withstand earthquakes with magnitudes in excess of 7.0.
(With inputs from IANS)

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