The highest railway bridge in the world will stand tall at 359 metres, it will be 30 metres higher than the iconic Eiffel Tower in Paris, and will soar above the bed of river Chenab in Jammu and Kashmir. Almost 66% of the work on the bridge being built on the Katra-Banihal railway line at village Kauri in Reasi district has been done.
This 1.3-km-long bridge costs around Rs 1,250 crores.
As per Konkan Railway chief engineer, RK Singh, more than 1,300 workers and 300 engineers have been working round-the-clock to complete the bridge by 2019. The construction began in 2004, but the work was halted in 2008-09 due to the safety of the rail passengers due to frequent high-velocity winds in the area. The Railways decided to survey the area again and find some alternate site where the bridge could be constructed on Chenab river to avoid 100 kilometres-an-hour high-velocity winds but finally it was decided not to change the site as it is the most suited taking into account the high altitude, said deputy chief engineer R R Malik.
He claimed that the bridge under construction can withstand winds up to 260 kmph and its lifespan will be 120 years.
This bridge is the seventh largest arch-shaped bridge in the world as there is no support except on both sides of the river banks and one of the supporting RCC and steel pillars is 133 metres high. The arch is being supported by piers and trusses. AFCONS Construction Company project manager S M Viswamurthy said that it is a joint venture of AFCONS, VSL and Ultra companies.