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The arch of the world’s highest railway bridge completed

The arch of the world’s highest railway bridge with an arch span of 467 meters was completed on Monday. The bridge is being constructed at a height of 359 meters above the bed of the Chenab River at the Reasi district of Jammu & Kashmir.

The Railway Ministry said that the 5.6-meter last piece of metal joined the two arms of the arch that stretches from both banks of Chenab. It was fitted at the highest point of the arch.

Railway Minister Piyush Goyal watched the lowering of the closure segment of the arch through a video link from Delhi.

The Railway Ministry described the achievement as a major leap towards the completion of the 111-km-long winding stretch from Katra to Banihal. The construction of the arch is considered the biggest civil-engineering challenge faced by any railway project in recent history.

The Ministry said the sophisticated ‘Tekla’ software has been used for structural detailing and the structural steel is suitable for -10 degrees Celsius to 40 degrees Celsius.

Northern Railway General Manager Ashutosh Gangal said that the construction of the bridge involved the fabrication of 28,660 metric tonnes of steel, 10 lakh cubic meters of earthwork, and 66,000 cubic meters of concrete. He said the overall weight of the arch is 10,619 metric tonnes. Approximately 584 kilometers of welding were done to join the different parts of the structure.

The 1315 meter-long bridge aims to boost connectivity to the Kashmir Valley.  The bridge is being constructed at a cost of Rs. 1,486 crores as part of the Udhampur-Srinagar-Baramulla Railway Link (USBRL) project. The bridge is 35-meter higher than the Eiffel Tower in Paris. It is designed to withstand a high wind speed of up to 266 kmph. It can also withstand high-intensity earthquakes and powerful explosions.

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