Besides, it was also tough to convince the personnel to work in the hostile conditions of Upper Assam, says a media report.
A report published on Saturday by The Hindu quoted R.V.R Kishore, project director for HCC the company which built the steel superstructure, as saying: “Getting the required manpower on this project in this part of the country, that too ensuring they were technically qualified was a task.”
The bridge took 16 long years to complete.
As per the report, 120 engineers and 300 welders had to be mobilised from different parts of India. The challenge with getting welders was that they had to be qualified as per European codes and welding standards, it said.
It is expected that the longest rail-cum-road bridge in India, which is 4.94-km long, will help the Indian armed forces move men and material to Arunachal Pradesh bordering China in a faster manner.
It will also benefit the Indian Railways, as it will help reduce the distance between Assam and Arunachal Pradesh by 600 km.
Unlike a normal steel bridge, the design of the ?4,857 crore bridge is such that it did not require the use of a single nut or bolt. Bolts and rivets that are normally used in a steel bridge require periodic replacement due to shear failure over traffic loads, says the report.
In the Bogibeel Bridge over the Brahmaputra, which has connected Dibrugarh in the south bank and Dhemaji in the north, “construction of trusses using welding has made the connection between components a permanent one, eliminating the above failures”, said Kishore.
It has been claimed that the structure of the bridge is India’s first fully-welded bridge, which will protect it from harsh weather.
A number of companies were engaged in Bogibeel Bridge’s construction.
While the state-owned RITES undertook pre-construction studies, geo-technical investigations and provided detailed designs, Bhartia Infra constructed the guide bunds and approach embankments, said the report.
The foundation and sub-structure were built by Gammon India. A joint venture of HCC, VNR Infrastructures and the German company DSD Bruckenbau constructed the superstructure.
The construction teams used a combination of rail and road transport to deliver 80,000 metric tonnes of steel plates sourced from various parts of the country to the project site in Assam. The orders for extra-wide plates were placed in advance to ensure timely execution of the job. The spherical bearings used in the construction were sourced from Germany, while the load testing of the bearings was done in China. The bearings were then shipped back to the project site after being refitted in Bhopal.
“The high grade, copper bearing steel ensures durability and makes the super structure corrosion proof,” the report quoted Kishore as saying who added that quality and documentation requirements were really stringent. “A lot of learning has taken place, because this is the first of its kind in India,” Kishore further said.
(The writer of the original article published by The Hindu, Aditya Anand, was in Assam at the invitation of HCC).