Bridging the Gap: India's Impeccable Road Bridges Design
India's emergence as a future super-power has already become a word of mouth worldwide. The continuous growth of its infrastructure has not only enhanced the standard of living for us as citizens, but has also given India a chance to showcase its engineering wonders. Bridges are an important aspect for determining the quality of a country's infrastructure. Its primary function is to connect places which are not linked, the secondary objective of building a bridge is to decongest roads and facilitate the transportation. It brings more business channels, lowers travel time and enhances job prospects once a bridge is constructed. Building bridges offers a two way profit, first, they provide jobs for unskilled workers as well as skilled engineers and architects and secondly, they save a ton of energy as fuels, once the project is done which in turn has a positive effect on the environment.
Some of the impeccable bridges were witnesses to our country. Call it the feats of engineering or the need to unite the country by linking land – there are some bridges in India that are certainly the masterpieces of construction and some of them acquire a sense of appreciation even after so many years of standing tall and solid. These bridges that were built in the past times deserve a pat for being technologically advanced even then. Here we feature some of the nation's most distinctive bridges in terms of design and materials.
Rabindra Setu, Kolkata
Think of Kolkata, what picture did you draw- Durga Pujo, Rabindra Sangeet and iconic Howrah Bridge- Isn’t it? The picturesque Rabindra Setu, commonly known as Howrah Bridge connects twin city of Kolkata and Howrah, is the largest cantilevered bridge in India, carrying a daily traffic of approximately 100,000 vehicles. A remarkable thing about the bridge is that no bolts and nuts were used but structure was made by riveting the steel and is supported only one end. Its construction dates back to 1943 and took 6 years to get complete, still standing tall and stood the test of time.
Rajiv Gandhi Setu, Maharashtra
Usually referred to as the Bandra-Worli Sea Link, the bridge has eight lanes and was opened on 24 March 2010 for traffic. It is a cable-stayed bridge with pre-stressed concrete-steel viaducts on either side connecting Bandra in Mumbai's Western Suburbs with Worli in South Mumbai, has contributed to reducing the travel time from an hour to just 10-15 minutes. Designed by Er. Seshadri Srinivasan and constructed by Hindustan Construction Company, iIt has total length of 5.6km and height 126m. Bandra-Worli Bridge, a modern Mumbai landmark, is India's Biggest Sea Link Bridge, and India's very own golden gate.
Jadukata Bridge, Meghalaya
Jadukata Bridge is an impressive piece of engineering, spaning over the Kynshi River in the West Khasi Hills in Ranikor of Meghalaya. It is single span prestressed concrete cantilever bridge with central span of 140m, linked at the ends, is located near Indo-Bangladesh border hence is vital link in on an important route of border state. Build by Gammon India Ltd and opened to public in 2001, it extends so gradually between shores that it seems to emerge from the rich vegetation itself.
Laxman & Ram Jhula, Rishikesh
Laxman Jhula is a suspension bridge across the Ganges River, of 450feet span with 6feet carriage way, situated 5 km northeast of Rishikesh city in Uttarakhand. Opened for public in 11 April 1930, the bridge links the two Tapovan villages in Tehri Garhwal district, on the river's west side, with Jonk in Pauri Garhwal district, on the east bank.
Ram Jhula was built later than the Lakshman Jhula in 1980, it is remarkably similar in both its steel construction and design. This bridge of span 750 feet is larger than Laxman jhula, situated 2 miles downstream, links the Sivananda Ashram district on the eastern bank with Swarg Ashram to the west.
Both the bridges are pedestrian with restricted 2-wheeler traffic movement, offers majestic view of Ganga and the holy city of Rishikesh.
Coronation Bridge, Darjeeling
The Coronation Bridge, also referred as the Sevoke Bridge, stretches across the Teesta River in Darjeeling district of West Bengal, India, linking the Darjeeling and Jalpaiguri districts. It is crossed by national highway 31.The structure was designed on the Reinforced Concrete framework and was opened to the public in 1941. Because of the depth and current of water, support from the Teesta river bed could not be accessed therefore the entire bridge was supported by a fixed arch, which had its two ends fixed on either side of the river on rock layers. There are four spans of 150 feet with a central span of 250 feet. The wells as well as the piers were built in cement concrete. The bed of the river was full of boulders up to four feet diameter, and therefore, the wells had to be sunk by the pneumatic process.
Calls have been made to declare the Coronation Bridge a heritage site, because it is one of the few remaining spandrel-arch bridges in the world, an architectural style that dates back to the Roman Empire.
New Yamuna Bridge, Prayagraj
The New Yamuna Bridge, also known as New Naini Bridge located in Prayagraj, is a cable-stayed bridge which is the largest bridge of its kind in India with a total length of 1510 m, with the longest span of 260 m, supported by cables and concrete anchor bridges, has six lanes, including a pedestrian and a bicycle lane. The bridge was built by the end of 2004 to ease congestion across the Old Naini Bridge. It runs north-south across the river Yamuna, connecting the city of Prayagraj to the satellite town Naini.
Mahatma Gandhi Setu, Patna
Mahatma Gandhi Setu, commonly known as the Gandhi or Ganga Setu, constructed over the holy waters of the Ganges River, is the bridge that connects Patna in the south to Hajipur in the north of Bihar. This bridge, built over a period of over 10 years, holds the distinction of being one of the country's longest bridges. To be exact, it is also the second largest bridge in India at a length of 5,750 metres. It is a masterpiece of both design and engineering, built by Gammon India with a Rs 87.22 crore cost which was inaugurated in May 1982 in a ceremony in Hajipur by the then prime minister, Indira Gandhi. Prestressing technology was the construction used in the bridge — cantilever slabs with hinge bearings, and box girder. A notable city landmark, this bridge is a part of NH 19 as well.
Signature Bridge, Delhi
On 4 November 2018, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal inaugurated the much-awaited Signature Bridge, connecting Wazirabad across the Yamuna to the inner city. The new landmark bridge is twice Qutub Minar 's height, and has been delayed for over 14 years is constructed by Delhi Tourism and Transport Development Corporation (DTTDC) at a cost of about Rs 1518.37 crore. The signature bridge is being projected as the first asymmetrical cable-stayed bridge in India, with a 'Namaste' gesture. People enjoy a panoramic view of the city from the top of the bridge, as people do from the Eiffel Tower, in four elevators with a total capacity of 50 people in a glass box of 154 meters high on top of the bridge for bird's-eye view of the city.
The 575-metre-long bridge also has on the bridge selfie spots and graphics representing modern and progressive India. With a 250 mm thick steel plate fabrication, the bridge is a Cantilever spar cable-stayed bridge, a type of cable-stayed bridge, where cables were in a combination of radial and semi-harp configuration, in which cables are spaced apart on the pylon, like the harp design, but connected to one point or a number of closely spaced deck points. the bridge is one of the most modern landmarks in the city.