Chenab bridge, set to be world's highest, can withstand quakes and blasts

The Chenab arch-bridge is part of an ambitious railway project connecting Kashmir to the rest of the country. 

Chenab bridge, set to be world's highest, can withstand quakes and blasts
Image: Rail Ministry

Jammu: The iconic arch-bridge, which is being built over the Chenab River in Jammu and Kashmir, will be able to withstand up to 8 magnitude earthquakes and high-intensity blasts, 

The arch-bridge – set to be world's highest – is currently under construction over the Chenab River in Jammu and Kashmir's Reasi district.

It is part of an ambitious railway project connecting Kashmir to the rest of the country.

The arch-bridge will have a "security setup" against possible terror threats and quakes, an official of the Indian Railways was quoted as saying by PTI.

"The bridge has been designed in such a way that it will withstand an earthquake measuring eight on the Richter scale. There will be no damage to the bridge," MK Gupta, Member (Engineering) of the Railway Board, said.

The Indian Railways aims to complete the construction of the bridge by May 2019.

The Rs 1,250-crore bridge, which will be 359 metres above the Chenab river bed, would also be 35 metres taller than the iconic Eiffel Tower in Paris., 

The work on installing the main arch of the bridge began on November 5.

Gupta said that a detailed, site-specific seismic analysis has been carried out by experts from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Roorkee, and the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore.

The bridge, a part of the Udhampur-Reasi-AnantnagSrinagar-Baramulla railway project, can withstand a blast of 30 kg of explosives,  a senior engineer working on the project said.

The overall length of the bridge is 1,315 metres, having 17 spans, of which the main steel arch portion across the Chenab river is of 476 metres in length and its height is 359 metres above the river bed.

"There are certain unique and unparallelled features in the under-construction bridge. It is for the first time in India that a concrete-filled steel arch is being used as the main arch," he said.

He said that the work on viaduct portion of the bridge at Srinagar end was nearing completion.

The project work is being carried out by AFCONS Construction Company through Konkan Railway.

The Udhampur-Srinagar-Baramulla Rail Link (USBRL) Project will be completed by March 2021, he said.

Officials overseeing the project on the ground said that more than 1,300 workers and 300 engineers have been working round-the-clock to complete the bridge in time. Over 70 percent of the work has been completed, they added.

The construction work started in 2004, but the work was briefly stopped in 2008-09 in view of the safety of rail passengers due to frequent high-velocity winds in the area.

With PTI inputs

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