PM Opens India’s Longest Railroad Bridge In Assam’s Bogibeel

Prime Minister Narendra Modi today opened the Bogibeel railroad bridge in Assam, billed as India’s longest railroad bridge. Its foundation was laid in 1997. The five-kilometer structure spans the waters of the mighty Brahmaputra River. The bogibeel bridge will connect Assam’s Dibrugarh and Dhemaji districts, bordering Arunachal Pradesh. It will cut the travel time between the two points by four hours and help displaces a 170-km detour. With its proximity to the China border, the bridge also has tremendous significance for India’s defense and has been built strong enough to aid the movement of tanks and even fighter jet landings.

Designed like a bridge that links Sweden and Denmark, the Bogibeel Bridge is India’s only fully-welded bridge for which European codes and welding standards were followed. A wholly welded bridge has a low maintenance cost, its engineers say.

The bridge, which also happens to be Asia’s second-longest rail-and-road connector, has a lifespan of around 120 years, authorities have stated.

The bridge has a two-line railway track on the lower deck and a three-lane road on the top deck. It will decrease the Delhi to Dibrugarh train travel time by about three hours.

PM Modi will also shortly flag off a train – the Tinsukia-Naharlagun Intercity Express, which will ply five days a week.

The 4.9 km-long bridge was constructed at an approx cost of Rs. 5,900 crore – exceeding its initial budget of about Rs. 3,200 crore and originally planned length of 4.31 km.

The foundation stone of the project was laid by former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda on January 22, 1997, while work commenced on April 21, 2002, under the Atal Bihari Vajpayee-led government. December 25 happens to be Vajpayee’s birth anniversary.

“Early flood in the river Brahmaputra restricted the working season to a very short period of approximately five months – from November to March – and demanded huge mobilization of construction equipment,” Chief Engineer Mohinder Singh told news agency PTI, elaborating the delay in the project.

The project took 30 lakh bags of cement – enough to fill more than 41 Olympic swimming pools and 19,250 meters of reinforcement steel – well over twice the height of Mount Everest.

The bridge will be massive support for residents of the remote districts of Anjaw, Changlang, Lohit, Lower Dibang Valley, Dibang Valley, and Tirap in Arunachal Pradesh besides the Dibrugarh and Dhemaji districts in Assam.

The Bogibeel Bridge is likely to play a vital role in defense movement along the India-China border in Arunachal Pradesh. The three road lanes of the bridge can act as three landing strips for the Air Force, news agency PTI reported.

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