Table of Contents
In this article, we will discuss Bogibeel Bridge.
1. Bogibeel Bridge
The Bogibeel Bridge is a collaborative road and rail bridge over the Brahmaputra River located in the northeastern Indian state of Assam between the Dhemaji district and Dibrugarh district, which was begun in the year 2002 and carried a full of 200 months to finish.
Bogibeel river bridge is the longest rail-cum-road bridge in India, measuring 4.94 kilometers over the Brahmaputra river.
As it is located in an earthquake-prone area it is India’s first bridge to have completely welded steel-concrete reinforcement beams that can resist earthquakes of magnitudes up to 7 on the Richter scale.
Bogibeel river bridge is Asia’s second-longest rail-cum-road bridge and has a serviceable duration of around 120 years.
The bridge joins the Dhemaji district and Dibrugarh district in Assam via National Highway 15.
The Bogibeel Bridge gives a link between the Rangiya–Murkongselek section of the Northeast Frontier Railway, found on the northern bank of the Brahmaputra River, and the Lumding–Dibrugarh section that lies to the southern bank.
A New Dibrugarh Railway Station predicted to be the most extensive in the region, has been submitted and is to be linked to the Rangiya–Murkongselek line through Chaulkhowa and Moranhat.
The Railways have started the gauge conversion of the Dhamalgaon to Sisiborgaon rail line to the north of the bridge and designated the 44 km Chalkhowa–Moranhat line to the south.
The bridge traces its sources to the Assam Accord of 1985 and was one of several major infrastructural projects to be set up in Assam in accordance with the agreement.
It was sanctioned by the Government of India in 1997-98 and was anticipated to be finished by the end of the Ninth Five-Year Plan.
The foundation of the bridge was placed in January 1997 by Prime Minister H. D. Deve Gowda, but its structure was inaugurated only in 2002 by Prime Minister, A. B. Vajpayee.
The project was to be completed in six years following the inauguration, however, the work did not begin even in 2007, owing to a 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.
Accordingly, the Union Ministry of Finance funded 75% of the project costs while the Ministry of Railways financed the rest.
The genuine work on the project only began in 2011. In April 2008, the Northeast Frontier Railway contracted Gammon India to complete the sub-structure of the bridge while a consortium of Hindustan Construction Company, DSD Brückenbau GmbH, Germany, and VNR Infrastructures succeeded in the bid to construct the superstructure.
The bridge’s construction was subject to large time and cost overruns over time. The cost, initially estimated at ₹1,767 crores (US$220 million), escalated to ₹4,996 crores (US$630 million) by 2014.
According to a press statement by the Indian Ministry of Railway on 25 July 2014, in the central bridge, 36 out of 42 well foundations and 28 out of 40 piers had been met, while 2 out of 41 girders had been established.
An expense of ₹3,041 crore (US$380 million) was incurred on the project till March 2014, and a further outlay of ₹600 crores (US$75 million) was authorized for the year 2014–2015, with the project anticipated to be finished by March 2017.
However, a journalist writing in The Hindu Business Line argued that when he saw the project in July 2014, only 15 out of the 42 piers were “coming up”, while the work on the rest had barely begun.
On 2 December 2018, the bridge opened as the first freight train passed through it. On 25 December, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the Bogibeel bridge, on the birth anniversary of Ex-Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, and also flag off an intercity express connecting Tinsukia and Naharlagun.
The general cost of the project eventually escalated to ₹5,960 crores (US$750 million) as the total length of the bridge increased from 4.31 kilometers (2.68 mi) to 4.94 kilometers (3.07 mi).
The structure of the bridge contains 41 spans of 125 m and a superstructure of composite welded steel truss and reinforced concrete.
It is developed to be capable to have a double line 5 ft 6 in (1,676 mm) broad-gauge railway on the lower deck and a 3-lane road on the upper deck.
Owing to its strategic significance, it was also constructed with supporting the movement of tanks and aircraft in mind.
It is the most extended combined rail and road bridge in India and the second most extended bridge in Assam over the Brahmaputra, after Bhupen Hazarika Setu at 9.15 km.
Read Also: Solution of Foundation Heave