Railways unveils overarch deck on Chenab railway bridge
Jammu: The ‘golden joint’ of the Chenab railway bridge, connecting two ends of the deck of the world’s highest railway bridge, was unveiled in Reasi district on Saturday.
The bridge will prove direct connectivity to the Kashmir valley.
The unveiling of the overarch deck saw bursting of firecrackers and people from different parts of the country singing the national anthem and chanting ‘Bharat Mata ki Jai’ on it.
“This is a historic moment,” a senior official said, adding that the completion of the ‘golden joint’ has been a long journey.
The term ‘golden joint’ was coined by the civil engineers on worked on connecting the two ends of the deck of the bridge, he said.
Roughly, the 1.3-km bridge, which is being constructed at a cost of Rs 1,250 crore, is 98 per cent complete with the completion of the ‘golden joint’, officials said.
The bridge is located 359 m above the Chenab riverbed and is 30 m higher than the Eiffel Tower in Paris, they said.
The bridge forms a crucial link in the 111-km stretch from Katra to Banihal, which is part of the Udhampur-Srinagar-Baramulla section of the Kashmir Railway project, the officials said.
For constructing the bridge, pylons were erected on either side of the river and two auxiliary self-propelled cable cranes were used to tow temporary auxiliary ropes across these pylons, according to the officials.
More than 1,300 workers and 300 engineers have been working round the clock to complete the bridge, the officials said.
The construction started in 2004 but the work was stopped in 2008-09 to consider the aspect of safety of rail passengers in view of frequent high velocity winds in the area, they said.
Once completed, the bridge will be able to withstand winds with speed up to 260 kmph and will have a lifespan of 120 years.
“The project will ink a new chapter in the history of Jammu and Kashmir. It’s not only a bridge but a link of development and prosperity,” Surender Mahi, Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Udhampur-Srinagar-Baramula Rail Link (USBRL) on completion of Golden Joint Ceremony said.
He said the Golden Joint is a process in which two portions were joined together in coordinated manners to make sure it fits perfectly and now we can safely say that the bridge is almost complete.
The CAO further added that after completion of the deck the track laying work to run trains and get the trials of the bridge will commence very soon.
Northern Railway has entrusted the construction of the iconic Chenab Bridge to Konkan Railway as an executing agency.
The main arch of the bridge is 467 metres linear length (curvilinear length is 550 metres), resting on two massive foundations on dolomite limestone hillock across mighty Chenab river. The overall weight of main arch is 10,619 metric tonnes.
The erection of the arch has been undertaken from both ends with the help of massive cable cranes of cumulative carrying capacity of about 35MT, using incremental launching by supporting cantilever portion with prestressed stay cables.
A National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories (NABL) accreditation lab has been established at the site to facilitate the testing work.
The construction of this project involved construction of 26 km of motorable roads, fabrication of nearly 28,660 metric tonnes steel and more than 80% fabrication has been done at site workshops in Kauri, Bakkal and Surandi. (with PTI, KNO inputs)