The ‘Super Arch Bridge’ at Chenab is designed to withstand winds of up to 100 kmph and has a lifespan of 120 years. The height of the bridge (from river bed to construction) is 359 m, while the span of the main arch is 467 m with a total steel construction of about 28,660 metric tons. Other unique features of the bridge are the use of concrete-filled trusses in arches and electric cars for inspection and maintenance of the bridge, both a first in India; The cable crane assembly is used to erect the steel members of the bridge with a span of 915 meters, which is the longest in the world. One of the pylons of the cable crane is higher than Qutub Minar (72 meters) at a height of 127 meters and is designed to bear the earthquake forces of Zone-V.
Once completed, the bridge will be 35 meters higher than the Eiffel Tower.
The bridge has a unique engineering style, which faced many challenges due to the geomorphology of the area apart from rough terrain and poor environment. To meet these challenges, engineers and experts began work from two opposite sides and then pushed the superstructure to the arch step by step – eventually attaching the center of the arch on Saturday. The ‘Golden Joint’ is the last joint of the bridge deck that connects the two sides to form one continuous deck.
The 785-metre-long deck over the Chenab Arch Bridge is being launched from both ends of the arch, which will be interconnected by a golden joint near the crown. This joint will be closed with a high strength friction grip bolt.
“It’s been a long journey. The term ‘golden joint’ was coined by the engineers working on the project; it has nothing to do with gold. The golden joint is the most important addition because it not only connects the two sides of the deck but also proves the quality and accuracy of the work done by the various teams of engineers and workers engaged in the construction of the bridge. Sanjay GuptaChairman and MD, Konkan RailwayTold.
“This project is going to be a game-changer in Jammu and Kashmir to integrate with the entire mainland of India and boost the socio-economic conditions of the Union Territory,” it said. Surinder MahiChief Administrative Officer, Udhampur-Srinagar-Baramulla Railway.
“The bridge will be 98% complete once the Golden Joint is finished,” said Afcons Deputy Managing Director Giridhar Rajagopalan,
In addition to the Chenab bridge, AFCONs is constructing 16 additional railway bridges for the Konkan Railway Corporation Limited in the poor area of Jammu and Kashmir under the Udhampur Srinagar Baramulla Rail Link project.