Vidyasagar Setu – The Second Howrah Bridge

The Saga Of The Bridge

Post-independence that is during and after the year August 1947, the commercial activity and the population both grew at a very rapid rate. Howrah bridge was the only connecting link across the river Hooghly and because of this reason it was subject to huge congestion of traffic with over 85,000 vehicles crossing it every day. Moreover, this led to the necessity for designing a new bridge across the river so that it could also connect the major cities of Mumbai, Delhi, and Chennai with Kolkata via the National Highways.

Construction Of The Vidyasagar Setu :

The construction of the Bridge started in the year 1972 on 20th of May under the guidance of the then, Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. Besides, the Bridge took 22 long years and a significant amount of Rupees 3.8 billion for its completion. Also, in between the 22 years of construction, the work did not proceed and was at a halt for 7 years.

Construction of the Bridge began in the year 1972, and the commission of the Bridge came to an end finally in the year 1992 on 10th of October. A deck crane came to rescue for the construction of the main span of the Bridge.

Architecture And Naming :

The name of the Bridge is given after the 18th-century educationist and reformer Pandit Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar. Moreover, the Vidyasagar Setu stretches over 823 meters that are 2700 ft. Moreover, there 121 cables of steel pylons each of which is 127.62 m high and all lie in a fan arrangement. The total length of the Bridge is 35 meters with three separate lanes in each direction. Besides, the Bridge also has 1.2-meter-wide footpath on both sides.

The Designing Of The Vidyasagar Setu :

The design of the Bridge was by Schlaich Bergermann and Partner and checked by Freeman Fox, and Partners and Bharat Bhari Udyog Nigam Limited and the great responsibility of the construction was under the Braithwaite Burn and Jessop Construction Company Limited (BBJ).

Vidyasagar Setu’s design differs from the design of the other bridges in many aspects. The difference in the design lies in the live load composite structure and also the grid, with a structure of girders. Besides, one set of the girders is at the end one in the middle and other sets at an average distance of 4.2 meters from the center.

The Efficiency Of The Bridge :

The Bridge is capable of holding almost 85,0000 vehicles in a day, but the number of vehicles that cross the Bridge daily is approximately 30,000, which is very less than its efficiency. The Bridge was also subject to the prototype wind tunnel test at the Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore.

Trivia
• The Bridge took 22 years to complete. Its construction started in the year 1972.
• Also, it’s the longest cable bridge in India of 823 meters.
• Moreover, it has the capacity to retain 85,000 vehicles daily but the number of vehicles that cross it daily is 30,000.
• Its design is different from the other camps.
• Besides, it connects Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai and Kolkata via National Highways.
• 1.2 m wide footpath on both sides.
• The Bridge has a sufficient number of vital components like lighting arresters, handrails, gas service support structures, lifts in the pylons, and many more.
• Schlaich Bergermann and Partner drafted the design of the Bridge which correction was Freeman Fox and Partners duty which they did successfully.