The construction of the arch of the world's highest railway bridge above the bed of the Chenab river in Jammu and Kashmir was completed on Monday. The 1.3-kilometer-long-bridge aims to boost connectivity to the Kashmir Valley. It is being constructed at a cost of Rs 1,486 crore as part of the Udhampur-Srinagar-Baramulla Railway Link (USBRL) project.
The bridge that soars 359 meters above Chenab river, is 35-meter higher than the Eiffel Tower in Paris. It is expected to be completed within a year.
The Railway Ministry said the 5.6-meter last piece of metal (closure segment) was fitted at the highest point of the arch on Monday. It joined the two arms of the arch that currently stretch towards each other from both banks of the Chenab.
The sophisticated ‘Tekla’ software has been used for structural detailing and the structural steel is suitable for -10 degrees Celsius to 40 degrees Celsius.
Northern Railway General Manager Ashutosh Gangal said the construction of the bridge involves fabrication of 28,660 metric tonnes of steel, 10 lakh cubic metres earthwork and 66,000 cubic metres of concrete. He said the overall weight of the arch is 10,619 metric tonnes and "the erection of members of the arch by overhead cable cranes was done for the first time by the Indian Railways".