New Delhi: 'Chenab Bridge,' the world's highest railway bridge, part of the Udhampur-Srinagar-Baramulla rail link project (USBRL), set an important construction milestone on Monday with the completion of the steel arch of the iconic Chenab Bridge. "This was one of the most difficult part of the bridge over Chenab. This achievement is a major leap towards the completion of the 111-km-long winding stretch from Katra to Banihal," said the Ministry of Railways in an official statement on Monday. It is arguably the biggest civil-engineering challenge faced by any railway project in India in recent history.
The 5.6-meter last piece of metal was fitted at the highest point on Monday and joined the two arms of the arch that currently stretch towards each other from both the banks of the river. This completed the shape of the arch that will then loom over the treacherous Chenab, flowing some 359 meters below. After the completion of the arch work, removal of the stay cables, filling of the concrete in the arch rib, erection of the steel trestle, launching of the viaduct and track laying work will be taken up.
The completion of the historic arch work was also seen by Union Minister for Railways Piyush Goyal, Indian Railways' Chairman & CEO Suneet Sharma, and Northern Railway's General Manager Ashutosh Gangal through video conferencing.
The Railways is constructing a 1,315-metre-long iconic Arch Bridge on River Chenab as a part of the USBRL project to connect the Kashmir valley to the rest of the nation. It is the highest railway bridge in the world being 359 metres above the river bed level and 35 metres higher than the iconic Eiffel Tower in Paris (France). The construction of the bridge involved the fabrication of 28,660 MT steel, 10 lakh cum earthwork, 66,000 cum concrete and 26 Km motorable roads. The arch consists of steel boxes. Concrete will be filled in boxes of the arch to improve stability. The overall weight of arch is 10,619 MT. The erection of the members of the arch by overhead cable cranes was done for the first time on Indian Railways. The most sophisticated 'Tekla' software was used for structural detailing. Structural steel suitable for -10°C to 40°C temperature has been used.
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