Erected over National Highway-53, the steel bridge is 70 metres long and weighs 673 metric tons

The first steel bridge has been erected for Mumbai-Ahmedabad High Speed Rail (MAHSR) corridor in Surat, Gujarat, by the National High Speed Rail Corridor Limited (NHSRCL). The bridge of 70-metre length has been erected across National Highway-53.

This is the first of the 28 steel bridges that will be a part of the MAHSR corridor. Approximately 70,000 MT of specified steel is estimated to be used in the making of these bridges.

Along with Japanese know-how, India is increasingly utilising its indigenous technical and material capabilities to build the infrastructure under Make-in-India vision.

Steel bridges are most suitable for highways, expressways and railway lines unlike pre-stressed concrete bridges.

India has the expertise for fabricating steel bridges for heavy haul and semi high-speed trains which run between 100 and 160 kmph. This is for the first time, a steel bridge to support a Shinkansen Bullet train running at a speed of 320 km per hour was fabricated and successfully launched.

From the workshop at Hapur district near Delhi, which is almost 1,200 km from the location of the bridge site, the steel structure, which consists of nearly 700 pieces and weighing 673 MT, was transported on trailers to the site of installation.

At the site, the steel bridge of 12 to 14 metres in height was assembled on the staging above 10 to 12 metre high piers. Thereafter, the launching nose of 200 MT weight was assembled with the main bridge assembly.

With massive care and expertise, the bridge assembly was pulled to its intended span through a specially designed arrangement..

Each production batch of steel was tested by ultrasonic testing at the manufacturer’s premises. The making of steel bridges undergoes high-tech and precise operations of cutting, drilling, welding and painting as per the design drawings prepared by Japanese engineers.

The contractor is mandated to employ welders and supervisors certified by international welding experts. The welding process is also monitored by Japanese International Welding Experts stationed at each workshop. The fabricated structure undergoes a check assembly process. And then follows the sophisticated five-layered painting of the steel structure.

The painting technique adopted for the steel girders is first-of-its-kind in India. It conforms to C-5 Painting system of Japan Road Association’s “Handbook for Corrosion Protection of Steel Road Bridges”.