The six-lane extra-dosed bridge which is being constructed over the river Brahmaputra is considered as a major push to infrastructure and connectivity in Guwahati as it connects the north bank to the south, something many would call – a long-awaited move.
The bridge is designed to be an iconic one with state-of-the-art aesthetic features and is built at a cost of Rs 2,608 crore, most of which is funded by BRICS New Development Bank (NDB). However, 20 percent of the total cost will be borne by the Assam Government.
The superstructure project is undertaken by Assam Public Works Department (PWD) along with consultancy services from Systra Engenharia Consultoria Ltd, Brazil, and contractor services from M/s S.P Singla Construction Pvt. Ltd of Haryana.
The length of the bridge will be 1.6 km of extra dosed cable type design with a Y-arm of 360 metres. While the length of the main bridge (over the river) will be 1.24 km, the total length of the six-lane project as a whole will be a staggering 6.2 km with approach roads on both sides of the Brahmaputra.
The starting point of the carriageway will be at Bharalumukh, the south bank of the Brahmaputra, and the ending point will be at NH-31 near Gauripur junction on the north bank. Once built, the bridge will reduce the time from 90 minutes to mere 15 minutes.
Extra-dosed bridges are considered in such projects because of superior technology which reduces a large number of foundations in the river, has a good aesthetic view, and also takes less time to construct.
The carriageway will start off as a six-lane bridge and form into a Y-junction, thereafter, divide into two three-lane ways. One of them will connect the main road at Santipur near Swagat Hospital and the other at Azan Pin Park in Machkowa. Towards the north, the bridge will land at Majgaon, not very far from Aswaklanta Temple.
The superstructure will play a pivotal role in driving the growth of Assam state as a region that covers around 6,000 sq km area with Guwahati city as the epicentre. The project is slated to be complete by August 2023.
With the construction of the new state-of-the-art bridge, the never-ending traffic snarls along Machkhowa, Bharalumukh, and MG Road will soon no longer trouble the motorists. Air pollution along the lines will also be significantly reduced due to the same.
Additionally, access to major landmarks located in the north bank like IIT Guwahati, the Silk town – Sualkuchi, Bio-Tech Park, National Law University, etc will be much quicker and smoother.
Notably the construction was halted earlier this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but paced up after Unlock 1 and is in full swing now.
The foundation stone of the mega project was laid by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in February 2019. It is part of the government’s Smart City initiative.
Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal performed bhumi pujan to inaugurate the six-lane bridge and said the proposed bridge will revolutionise the connectivity across the Brahmaputra. He asserted that a region cannot progress without good connectivity and with this bridge, which will be unique in every aspect, will take a giant leap towards making Assam one of the top-performing states in the country.
He added that it’s a step towards Smart Guwahati which will facilitate an integrated ICT application for an intelligent traffic system leading to decongestion of city traffic.