The Indian Railways has completed the Arch closure of the iconic Chenab Bridge, the world’s highest railway bridge, which is part of the Udhampur-Srinagar-Baramulla rail link project (USBRL). According to a statement issued by the ministry, this was one of the most difficult parts of the bridge over Chenab. “This achievement is a major leap towards the completion of the 111 k.m. long winding stretch from Katra to Banihal. It is arguably the biggest civil-engineering challenge faced by any railway project in India in recent history,” the Ministry of Railways said.
The 5.6-meter last piece of metal was fitted at the highest point today and joined the two arms of the arch that currently stretch towards each other from both the banks of the river. This completed the shape of the arch that will then loom over the treacherous Chenab, flowing some 359 meters below, said the ministry in a statement.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has lauded the completion of the Arch closure of the Chenab Bridge. “The capability and trust of the countrymen are setting an example before the world. This feat of construction does not only showcase the growing prowess of India in the field of modern engineering and technology but also is an example of changing work culture marked by the ethos of ‘sankalp se siddhi’,” PM Modi tweeted.
Salient Features of the Arch of the iconic Chenab Bridge:
The Chenab Bridge will connect the Kashmir valley to the rest of the nation.
This bridge is 1315m long.
This is the highest Railway Bridge in the world being 359m above the river bed level.
It will be 35 meters higher than the iconic Eiffel Tower in Paris (France).
It involves the fabrication of 28,660 metric tonnes of steel, 10 lakh cum earthwork, 66,000 cum concrete, and 26 km motorable roads.
The arch consists of steel boxes. Concrete will be filled in boxes of the arch to improve stability.
The overall weight of the arch is 10,619 MT.
Erection of the members of the arch by overhead cable cranes done for the first time on Indian Railways.
The most sophisticated ‘Tekla’ software and steel suitable for -10°C to 40°C temperature has been used for structural detailing.
Unique Features of the Chenab Bridge
The bridge can withstand high wind speed up to 266 Km/Hour.
It is designed for blast load in consultation with DRDO for the first time in India.
The bridge will remain operational at a restricted speed of 30 Km/Hour even after the removal of one pier/trestle.
Bridge designed to bear earthquake forces of highest intensity zone-V in India.
First time on Indian Railways, a Phased Array Ultrasonic Testing machine used for testing welds.
First time on Indian Railways, NABL accredited lab established at the site for weld testing.
584km welding was done to join the different parts of the structure, which is to the tune of the distance between Jammu Tawi to New Delhi.
The height of the cable crane’s pylon at Srinagar End is 127m, which is much taller than Qutub Minar of 72m.