Travelling around the mountains of Jammu and Kashmir has always been a tedious task for locals as well as tourists. Hence the need of providing the transport facility has been recognized and construction of national railway project connecting J&K with the rest of India was proposed.
This project included the construction of several bridges and tunnels along the route; Chenab Bridge is one of them. It will be spread across the Chenab River and provide access to the Kashmir valley from Udhampur.
Chenab Bridge is a very unique and first bridge in India forming a massive steel arch. This design has been undertaken on the basis of the experiences from similar projects worldwide.
The deep Chenab river valley under the bridge is prone to high wind pressure risking the stability of the bridge. However, this is being designed to resist wind speeds of up to 260kmph. The seismic nature of the project zone was also considered during its design.
This unique bridge is made up of Steel as it will be comparatively economical and will resist temperature to -20C. As safety hazards from the terrorist attacks, this bridge will be made of 63mm thick special blast-proof steel along with the concrete pillars that are being designed to withstand explosions.
It is pretty difficult to build a bridge in the most complicated and isolated location. One of the biggest challenges in the construction of this bridge was building the bridge without obstructing the flow of the river.
The deck of the bridge is being built partly in the straight horizon and partly in curves. It is located on a transition curve with changing the radius. Construction is being carried out in stages following the gradual change in the alignment. This is the first time a bridge is being constructed incrementally on a transition curve.
Once the bridge is complete, the rail journey from Jammu to Srinagar will take about 5 hours which currently takes about 11 hours by road. This is a dream come true for both Kashmir locals and travelers who are willing to explore the majestic valley. This will also give a boost to the tourist industry, as this bridge is unique enough to be considered as a tourist spot in itself.