Bogibeel Bridge

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Bogibeel Bridge
Bogibeel Bridge.jpg
Coordinates27°24′31″N 94°45′37″E / 27.40861°N 94.76028°E / 27.40861; 94.76028Coordinates: 27°24′31″N 94°45′37″E / 27.40861°N 94.76028°E / 27.40861; 94.76028
CarriesMotor vehicles (three road lanes), Railway (two rail tracks)
CrossesBrahmaputra River
LocaleDhemaji district and Dibrugarh district, Assam, India
Characteristics
DesignTruss bridge
MaterialSteel, Concrete
Total length4.94 kilometres (3.07 mi)
Longest span125 m (410 ft)
No. of spans41
History
Constructed byHindustan Construction Company (HCC), Gammon India
Construction start21 April 2002
Construction endDecember 2018
Opened25 December 2018
Bogibeel Bridge is located in Assam
Bogibeel Bridge
Bogibeel Bridge
Location in Assam

Bogibeel bridge is a combined road and rail bridge over the Brahmaputra river in the north eastern Indian state of Assam between Dhemaji district and Dibrugarh district,[1] which was started in the year 2002 and took a total of 200 months to complete, heavy rainfall in the region being the main cause for the slow progress. Bogibeel river bridge is the longest rail-cum-road bridge in India [2] measuring 4.94 kilometres over the Brahmaputra river.[3] As it is situated in an earthquake-prone area it is India's first bridge to have fully welded steel-concrete support beams that can withstand earthquakes of magnitudes up to 7 on the Richter Scale.[4] It is Asia’s 2nd longest rail-cum-road bridge and has a serviceable period of around 120 years.[5] It is the 5th longest bridge in India after Bhupen Hazarika Setu, Dibang River Bridge, Mahatma Gandhi Setu and Bandra-Worli Sea Link. The bridge was constructed by a consortium of construction companies headed by Hindustan Construction Company.[6] The bridge has a double rail line on the lower deck and a 2 lane road on the upper deck.

It was inaugurated by prime minister Narendra Modi on 25th December 2018 on the occasion of Good Governance Day.[7]

Location[edit]

The Bogibeel bridge, situated 17 km downstream of Dibrugarh and Dhemaji, spans the Brahmaputra river and will connect the town of Dibrugarh in the south to Dhemaji to the river's north.[8] The bridge is located just over 20 km away from the Assam- Arunachal Pradesh border and acts as an alternative to the Kolia Bhomora Setu, Tezpur in providing connectivity to nearly five million people residing in Upper Assam and Arunachal Pradesh.[9][10]

Bogibeel bridge is the longest rail-cum-road bridge of India on the Brahmaputra river in Assam. Due to its location, the bridge is of strategic importance to India as it will significantly enhance India's ability to transport troops and supplies to its border with Tibet in Arunachal Pradesh.[10] Being located in an area of intense rainfall, construction had been significantly slowed down by the fact that construction largely took place only during a period of four dry months between November and March.[11]

Road connectivity[edit]

This rail cum road bridge connects Dhemaji district and Dibrugarh district in Assam through National Highway 15.

Rail connectivity[edit]

Bogibeel bridge provides a connection between the Rangia-Murkongselek section of the North East Frontier Railway on the north bank of Brahmaputra and Lumding–Dibrugarh section that lies to the south of the Brahmaputra.[9] A New Dibrugarh Railway Station, expected to be the largest in the region, has been proposed and is to be linked to the Rangia - Murkongselek line via Chaulkhowa and Moranhat. The Railways have initiated the gauge conversion of the Dhamalgaon to Sisiborgaon rail line to the north of the bridge and commissioned the 44 km Chalkhowa - Moranhat line to the south.[10]

History[edit]

The Bogibeel bridge traces its origins to the Assam Accord of 1985 and was one of several major infrastructural projects to be set up in Assam in accordance with the pact.[12] It was sanctioned by the Government of India in 1997-98 and was expected to be completed by the end of the Ninth Five Year Plan.[13] The foundation of the bridge was laid in January 1997 by Prime Minister H.D.Deva Gowda, but its construction was inaugurated only in 2002 by Prime Minister, A.B. Vajpayee.[14] The project was to be completed in six years following the inauguration, however the work did not begin until 2007, owing to lack of funds and attention. Consequently, that same year, the Bogibeel bridge was granted a national project status by the Government of India in 2007 by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, but the implementation was slow, notwithstanding a Congress government in Assam.[9][15] Accordingly, the Union Ministry of Finance funded 75% of the project costs while the Ministry of Railways financed the rest.[9] The actual work on the project only began in 2011.[16]

In April 2008, the Northeast Frontier Railway contracted Gammon India to construct the sub-structure of the bridge while a consortium of Hindustan Construction Company, DSD Brückenbau GmbH, Germany and VNR Infrastructures won the bid to build the superstructure.[17]

The bridge witnessed huge time and cost overruns over time. The cost, initially estimated at 1,767 crore (US$250 million), escalated to 4,996 crore (US$700 million) by 2014.[18][19] According to a press release by the Indian Ministry of Railway on 25 July 2014, in the main bridge, 36 out of 42 well foundations and 28 out of 40 piers had been completed, while 2 out of 41 girders had been launched. An expenditure of 3,041 crore (US$420 million) was incurred on the project till March 2014, and a further outlay of 600 crore (US$83 million) was sanctioned for the year 2014-2015. The project was now expected to be completed by March 2017.[20] However, a correspondent writing in The Hindu Business Line revealed that when he visited the project in July 2014, only 15 out of the 42 piers were "coming up", while the work on the rest had "barely" begun.[15]

On 2 December 2018, the bridge opened as the first freight train crossed it.[3] On 25 December, the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the Bogibeel bridge, on the birth anniversary of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, and also flag off an intercity express connecting Tinsukia and Naharlagun. The overall cost of the project ultimately escalated to 5,960 crore (US$830 million). The total length of the bridge also increased from 4.31 kilometres (2.68 mi) to 4.94 kilometres (3.07 mi).[21]

Structure[edit]

The design of Bogibeel bridge has 39 spans of 125 m and a superstructure of composite welded steel truss and reinforced concrete. It is designed to carry a double line 1,676 mm (5 ft 6 in) broad gauge railway on the lower deck and a 2-lane road on the upper deck. With its proximity to the China border, the bridge also has tremendous significance for India's defence and has been built strong enough to support the movement of tanks and even fighter jet landings. It is the longest combined rail and road bridge in India and second longest bridge in Assam over the river Brahmaputra after Bhupen Hazarika Setu which is a road bridge of length 9.15 km.[22][23][8]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Bogibeel Rail-Cum-Road Bridge Project Targeted for Completion by March 2018". Government of India. Press Information Bureau. 25 July 2014. Retrieved 25 July 2014.
  2. ^ "India's longest road-rail bridge to be inaugurated by PM Modi this year".
  3. ^ a b "Watch: In A Historic Moment, First Freight Train Runs On India's Longest Road-Cum-Rail Bridge". Retrieved 2018-12-03.
  4. ^ "PM Modi inaugurates India's longest rail-road bridge in Assam".
  5. ^ "Bogibeel: India's longest rail-road bridge has lifespan of around 120 years".
  6. ^ "Bogibeel bridge's girder cost may escalate by Rs 300 crore: HCC".
  7. ^ https://www.ndtv.com/india-news/assams-bogibeel-bridge-to-be-inaugurated-by-prime-minister-narendra-modi-live-updates-1967736
  8. ^ a b "Bogibeel Rail Bridge, India". Retrieved 26 May 2013.
  9. ^ a b c d "A long wait for longest bridge in country". The Indian Express. 6 May 2012. Retrieved 26 May 2013.
  10. ^ a b c "Strategic Brahmaputra bridge to be ready by 2015?". Zee News. 26 April 2012. Retrieved 26 May 2013.
  11. ^ "Wet season major constraint for India's longest rail-cum-road bridge". Archived from the original on 23 January 2015. Retrieved 26 May 2013.
  12. ^ "'Assam Accord still vital'". Frontline. 27 (17). 14–27 August 2010. Retrieved 26 May 2013.
  13. ^ "Note of conciliation". Frontline. 21 (25). 4–17 December 2004. Retrieved 26 May 2013.
  14. ^ "Even after a decade, Bogibeel bridge waits to see light of the day". The Sentinel. 22 April 2012. Archived from the original on 3 March 2016. Retrieved 26 May 2013.
  15. ^ a b Bose, Pratim Ranjan (12 January 2018). "After 15 years, Bogibeel bridge in Upper Assam nears completion". The Hindu Business Line. Retrieved 12 January 2018.
  16. ^ "Bogibeel: India's longest bridge has long list of controversies". India Today. 24 December 2018. Retrieved 27 December 2018.
  17. ^ "HCC, associates bag Rs 987-cr railway order". The Hindu Businessline. 24 November 2011. Retrieved 26 May 2013.
  18. ^ "Bogibeel Rail-Cum-Road Bridge Project Targeted for Completion by March 2017". Government of India. Press Information Bureau. 25 July 2014. Retrieved 25 July 2014.
  19. ^ "Railways battle to complete strategic Brahmaputra bridge by 2015". Daily News. 25 April 2012. Archived from the original on 30 June 2013. Retrieved 26 May 2013.
  20. ^ "Bogibeel Rail-Cum-Road Bridge Project Targeted for Completion by March 2017". PIB. 25 July 2014. Retrieved 25 July 2014.
  21. ^ "Bogibeel: PM Modi inaugurates India's longest railroad bridge in Assam". The Economic Times. 25 December 2018. Retrieved 27 December 2018.
  22. ^ http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/dhola-sadiya-bridge-10-things-to-know/article18582536.ece
  23. ^ "Bogibeel Bridge project marks 10 years with slow work progress". Times of India. 21 April 2012. Retrieved 26 May 2013.