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Icons of India 1: Howrah Bridge

May 12, 2010

  • The Howrah Bridge spans the Hooghly River in Kolkata, West BengalIndia and was designed by Rendel Palmer & Tritton and functional since 1943.
  • It is the sixth longest steel cantilever bridge  in the world, with a total length of 1500 ft,1.5 times the Eiffel Tower. It is said that on high summer days, it expands upto 1m.
  • Construction started in 1937 and 23,5oo tonnes out of 26,500 tonnes was supplied by Tata Steel, India.
  • 40 Indian divers worked in 3 eight hour shifts for the sinking of two huge caissons, which was at a rate of at a rate of a foot or more per day. The two huge monoliths, the biggest ever sunk on land, measure 180 ft x 81 ft approx. and area sufficient for four tennis courts.

  • It is the busiest bridge in the world, considering vehicular + pedestrian traffic.
  • In 2005, a ship got stuck on the under-side, damaging 2 longitudinal girders and a few cross girders. The ship was released after cutting a part of it’s mast and after 2 months repair to the bridge, it now stands tall and functions busier than ever.
  • It is maintained by the Kolkata Port Trust. It is painted every 5 years and requires 30,000 litres of Aluminium paint to cover each surface.
  • Decorative Illumination is operative since 2006 and functions from 6-9pm.The aerial view comes alive with each truss being lit and reflecting in the river.
  • Photography is prohibited and advanced security measures, even under the bridge are present.

Text: Swa, Website: Howrahbridgekolkata

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