(The Gist of Science Reporter) Chenab Bridge –The Highest Bridge [JUNE-2020]

(The Gist of Science Reporter) Chenab Bridge –The Highest Bridge


Chenab Bridge –The Highest Bridge


  • Bridge length: 1,315 m or 4,314 ft
  • Bridge length includes 650 m or 2,130 ft long viaduct on the northern side
  • Arch length: 480 m or 1575 ft
  • Arch span: 467 m or 1,532 ft
  • Height above river bed: 359 m or 1,178 ft
  • Height above river surface: 322 m or 1,056 ft
  • 14 m-wide dual carriage way
  • 1.2 m-wide central verge

Extraordinary Features:

  • It is 35 metres taller than the Eiffel Tower in Paris, France.
  • It is the seventh-largest arch-shaped bridge in the world.
  • It is partly in straight horizon and partly in curves.
  • It can withstand winds up to 260 kmph
  • Lifespan will be 120 years
  • It can handle speeds up to 100 kmph
  • Challenging, fragile and daunting geology, treacherous terrains, rugged Himalayan Mountains.

Materials Used:

  • A unique structure like the Chenab Bridge is built with the help of some unique materials, which include:
  • High quality steel of Grade E250C being used for fabrication of deck superstructure. The C grade steel has special toughness properties at subzero temperature making the steel enough ductile in chilly cold weather conditions. Z grade steel used in fabrication of Arch has special thickness properties preventing lamellar failure of steel plates.
  • Double corrosion protected Dywidag bars, pre-stressed high tensile steel threaded bar used for slope stabilization with the requisite tensile strength.
  • Cable anchors are used for stabilization of more critical slopes such as below the main Arch foundations.
  • For steel to steel interfaces, multi-metal grout with pressure has been used for ensuring 100% contact in between, so as to prevent any point loading causing rupture.
  • For maintenance, regular painting of large bridges is an intimidating task. Hence, a painting scheme was developed, having renewal of over 15 years, compared to approximately 5 to 7 years in most other Indian railway bridges.

Historical Masterpieces:

  • The railway bridge across the Mahi river at Bhairongarh, Madhya Pradesh, near Ratlam, was built in 1890.
  • Netravati Bridge goes across the Ullal River, near Mangalore, Karnataka, was built in 1907. Havelock Bridge, also called the Old Godavari Bridge, at Rajahmundry, Andhra Pradesh, was decommissioned in 1997 and is now a national monument.
  • Koilwar railway bridge, now called Abdul Bari Bridge, over the upper Sone river, Bihar, began in 1856. It was completed in 1862, after the First War of Indian Independence of 1857 halted its construction.
  • Aryankavu bridge at Kaduthuruthy, near Punalur, Kerala, on the Kollam–Sengottai branch line is nearly 110 years old. At Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh, both trains and motor vehicles cross the Yamuna, near its confluence with the Ganga, on the doubledeck, steel-truss, 1,006-metre Old Naini bridge built in 1865.
  • The 1854-built Dapoori viaduct, on the Great Indian Peninsula Railway, crossed the Mula river.
  • The Nanjangud railway bridge, connecting Tandavapura and Nanjangud stations, over the Kabini river in Mysore district was built in 1735 and is a heritage site. Built first as a passenger bridge, for horse, camel and bullock carriages, in brick sand and stone, by Dalvoy Devraj, in 1902 it was converted into a railway bridge.

Similar Examples of Engineering Milestones for Railways Bogibeel Bridge on river Brahmaputra in Assam

  • It is the longest rail-cum-road bridge in India
  • It measures 4.94 km over the Brahmaputra river.
  • It is India’s first bridge to have fully welded steel-concrete support beams.
  • It is situated in an earthquake-prone area.
  • It can withstand earthquakes of magnitudes up to 7 on the Richter Scale.
  • It has a serviceable period of around 120 years.
  • It is the fifth longest bridge in India after Bhupen Hazarika Setu, Dibang river bridge, Mahatma Gandhi Setu and Bandra Worli Sea Link.
  • It is Asia’s second longest rail-cum-road bridge Pamban bridge at Rameshwaram.
  • It is India’s first railway sea bridge.
  • It is situated in a marine environment.
  • Designed for wave action and cyclonic storm.
  • It has a span which could be opened for ship traffic.


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Courtesy: Science Reporter