Bogibeel bridge is a combined road and rail bridge over the Brahmaputra river in the north eastern Indian state of Assam between Dhemaji district and Dibrugarh district, which was started in the year 2002 and took a total of 200 months to complete, heavy rainfall in the region being the main cause for the slow progress. Bogibeel river bridge is the longest rail-cum-road bridge in India  measuring 4.94 kilometres over the Brahmaputra river. As it is situated in an earthquake-prone area it is India's first bridge to have fully welded steel-concrete support beams that can withstand earthquakes of magnitudes up to 7 on the Richter Scale. It is Asia’s 2nd longest rail-cum-road bridge and has a serviceable period of around 120 years. It is the 5th longest bridge in India after Bhupen Hazarika Setu, Dibang River Bridge, Mahatma Gandhi Setu and Bandra-Worli Sea Link. The bridge was constructed by a consortium of construction companies headed by Hindustan Construction Company. The bridge has a double rail line on the lower deck and a 2 lane road on the upper deck.
|Carries||Motor vehicles (three road lanes), Railway (two rail tracks)|
|Locale||Dhemaji district and Dibrugarh district, Assam, India|
|Total length||4.94 kilometres (3.07 mi)|
|Longest span||125 m (410 ft)|
|No. of spans||41|
|Constructed by||Hindustan Construction Company (HCC), Gammon India|
|Construction start||21 April 2002|
|Construction end||December 2018|
|Opened||25 December 2018|
The Bogibeel bridge, situated 17 km downstream of Dibrugarh and Dhemaji, spans the Brahmaputra river and will connect the town of Dibrugarh in the south to Dhemaji to the river's north. The bridge is located just over 20 km away from the Assam- Arunachal Pradesh border and acts as an alternative to the Kolia Bhomora Setu, Tezpur in providing connectivity to nearly five million people residing in Upper Assam and Arunachal Pradesh.
Bogibeel bridge is the longest rail-cum-road bridge of India on the Brahmaputra river in Assam. Due to its location, the bridge is of strategic importance to India as it will significantly enhance India's ability to transport troops and supplies to its border with Tibet in Arunachal Pradesh. Being located in an area of intense rainfall, construction had been significantly slowed down by the fact that construction largely took place only during a period of four dry months between November and March.
Bogibeel bridge provides a connection between the Rangia-Murkongselek section of the North East Frontier Railway on the north bank of Brahmaputra and Lumding–Dibrugarh section that lies to the south of the Brahmaputra. A New Dibrugarh Railway Station, expected to be the largest in the region, has been proposed and is to be linked to the Rangia - Murkongselek line via Chaulkhowa and Moranhat. The Railways have initiated the gauge conversion of the Dhamalgaon to Sisiborgaon rail line to the north of the bridge and commissioned the 44 km Chalkhowa - Moranhat line to the south.
The Bogibeel bridge traces its origins to the Assam Accord of 1985 and was one of several major infrastructural projects to be set up in Assam in accordance with the pact. It was sanctioned by the Government of India in 1997-98 and was expected to be completed by the end of the Ninth Five Year Plan. The foundation of the bridge was laid in January 1997 by Prime Minister H.D.Deva Gowda, but its construction was inaugurated only in 2002 by Prime Minister, A.B. Vajpayee. The project was to be completed in six years following the inauguration, however the work did not begin until 2007, owing to lack of funds and attention. Consequently, that same year, the Bogibeel bridge was granted a national project status by the Government of India in 2007 by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, but the implementation was slow, notwithstanding a Congress government in Assam. Accordingly, the Union Ministry of Finance funded 75% of the project costs while the Ministry of Railways financed the rest. The actual work on the project only began in 2011.
In April 2008, the Northeast Frontier Railway contracted Gammon India to construct the sub-structure of the bridge while a consortium of Hindustan Construction Company, DSD Brückenbau GmbH, Germany and VNR Infrastructures won the bid to build the superstructure.
The bridge witnessed huge time and cost overruns over time. The cost, initially estimated at ₹1,767 crore (US$250 million), escalated to ₹4,996 crore (US$700 million) by 2014. According to a press release by the Indian Ministry of Railway on 25 July 2014, in the main bridge, 36 out of 42 well foundations and 28 out of 40 piers had been completed, while 2 out of 41 girders had been launched. An expenditure of ₹3,041 crore (US$420 million) was incurred on the project till March 2014, and a further outlay of ₹600 crore (US$83 million) was sanctioned for the year 2014-2015. The project was now expected to be completed by March 2017. However, a correspondent writing in The Hindu Business Line revealed that when he visited the project in July 2014, only 15 out of the 42 piers were "coming up", while the work on the rest had "barely" begun.
On 2 December 2018, the bridge opened as the first freight train crossed it. On 25 December, the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the Bogibeel bridge, on the birth anniversary of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, and also flag off an intercity express connecting Tinsukia and Naharlagun. The overall cost of the project ultimately escalated to ₹5,960 crore (US$830 million). The total length of the bridge also increased from 4.31 kilometres (2.68 mi) to 4.94 kilometres (3.07 mi).
The design of Bogibeel bridge has 39 spans of 125 m and a superstructure of composite welded steel truss and reinforced concrete. It is designed to carry a double line 1,676 mm (5 ft 6 in) broad gauge railway on the lower deck and a 2-lane road on the upper deck. With its proximity to the China border, the bridge also has tremendous significance for India's defence and has been built strong enough to support the movement of tanks and even fighter jet landings. It is the longest combined rail and road bridge in India and second longest bridge in Assam over the river Brahmaputra after Bhupen Hazarika Setu which is a road bridge of length 9.15 km.
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