Critical Links: Upcoming bridge projects in India

India has an extensive network of bridges, including river and sea bridges, rail bridges and road bridges. Rail-cum-road bridges ac­count for a major part of the Indian rail and road network. Further, bridges in India improve the overall infrastructure and establish linkages between cities while also promoting socio-economic progress.



Progress under BharatmalaPariyojana

The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) has initiated several notable bridge pro­jects under the BharatmalaPariyojana to im­prove connectivity to PM Gati Shakti nodes. So­me of the under-construction bridges are a 4 km two-lane bridge across the Brahmaputra ri­ver at Jogighopa, a 29 km four-lane major bri­d­ge across the Kosi river, a 6 km bridge on the Ganga river parallel to Vikramshila, and a 14 km bridge parallel to JP Setu on the Ganga river.

Mumbai Trans-Harbour Link

Although the Mumbai Trans-Harbour Link was initially planned in the 1990s, it faced many hurdles and was ultimately revived in 2016. The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority is currently executing the project with financial assistance from the Japan Internatio­n­al Cooperation Agency.

The upcoming longest sea bridge in the country with a total project cost of over Rs 178 billion will connect the Mumbai-Pune Express­way on the eastern side and the under-construction coastal road on the western side. The sea link freeway bridge road is 21.8 km long and will constitute six lanes with a holding capacity of 70,000-80,000 vehicles. The bridge is scheduled to be completed by December 2023.

Chenab Railway Bridge

The Chenab bridge is a 1,315 metre-long railway bridge, under construction in Jammu & Kash­m­ir. It is a part of the Udhampur-Srinagar-Bara­m­u­­lla Rail Link (USBRL) project being undertaken by Indian Railways. Upon completion, the Che­nab bridge will be the highest railway brid­ge in the world with its deck situated 362 me­tres above the high flood level.

The bridge has a long list of firsts to its credit including the installation of a double corrosion protected bar and cable anchors as well as extensive wind tunnel testing. The project is expected to be completed by January 2024.

New Pamban Bridge

The work on India’s first vertical lift railway sea bridge, the New Pamban Bridge, is being executed by Rail Vikas Nigam Limited at a cost of Rs 5.35 billion. Although the project execution has faced continuous delays, construction has gained momentum as of March 2023, and the vertical lift girder is likely to be launched shortly. The bridge will consist of 99 spans measuring 18.3 metres in length and one navigational span measuring 72.5 metres in length. The project is expected to be completed by June 2023.

Other bridges

Many state governments are making attempts to increase bridge construction. To eliminate barriers at railway crossings, the Central Road Fund has allocated Rs 160 billion to Maharashtra for the construction of rail overbridges (ROBs). The state aims to construct around 100 ROBs in 2023-24. Further, in January 2023, the centre allocated Rs 10 billion for the construction of ROBs and RUBs in Gujarat on non-national highway roads and Rs 1.93 billion for the construction of six ROBs in Uttarakhand.

In March 2023, the Tamil Nadu governme­nt laid the foundation stone for three new brid­ges, in Kodambakkam, Thiru Vi Ka Nagar and Tondiarpet. The cost of the entire project is Rs 3.69 billion and it is expected to be completed in two years.

The Sherpur-Dighwara bridge, part of the Patna ring road is now under construction at an estimated cost of Rs 30 billion. The Madaiyan Ghat bridge in Uttar Pradesh is currently at the bidding sta­ge. Meanwhile, the tallest pier railway bridge in the world (141 metres), which is a part of the Jiribam-Imphal railway project in Manipur, is nearing completion.

Going forward, these upcoming bridge projects in India will provide opportunities for cont­ractors, developers, consultants and investors.