New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will on Tuesday inaugurate the Bogibeel Bridge - India's longest rail-cum-road bridge - in Assam's Dibrugarh.
The foundation stone of the project was laid by former prime minister H D Deve Gouda on January 22, 1997, while work commenced on April 21, 2002, under the Atal Bihari Vajpayee-led government.
The 4.94-km-long bridge is being inaugurated on late PM AB Vajpayee's birth anniversary on December 25.
Bogibeel Bridge on the Bramhaputra river is India's only fully welded bridge for which european codes and welding standards were adhered to for the first time in the country, said Chief Engineer Mohinder Singh. He added that a fully welded bridge has a low maintenance cost.
The bridge, constructed at an estimated cost of Rs 5,900 crore, has a "serviceable period of around 120 years", he said.
The bridge reduces travel time from Assam to Arunachal Pradesh to four hours and will cut out the detour of over 170 km via Tinsukia.
It will also reduce Delhi to Dibrugarh train-travel time by about three hours to 34 hours as against 37 hours presently.
The bridge has a two-line railway track on the lower deck and a three-lane road on the top deck. For the first time in Indian Railways, the girder has steel floor system for railway tracks and concrete for road.
The first train on the bridge will start at around 11 am on Tuesday.
(WIth inputs from agencies)