Bihar’s Rebuilt Gandhi Setu, India’s Longest Steel Bridge, to Fully Open on June 7

Mahatma Gandhi Setu (MG Setu) in Bihar will be completely renovated and operational to traffic after the opening of its East Pavilion on June 7. It is approximately 5.6 kilometers long.

Gandhi Seto is the first balanced cantilever bridge in the country that was dismantled and converted into a simply supported bridge. The existing concrete infrastructure is retained, and the superstructure replaced with a steel deck. The bridge rehabilitation work began in 2017, and the West Wing opened in 2020. Remarkably, a complex bridge rehabilitation project of this scale was completed in five years.

  • East Wing (estuary side bridge) completed and handed over to traffic opening within 18 months
  • Steel structure installation completed in 13 months
  • 50 sidewalk covers modified and cast in 11 months
  • Bridge dismantling activities completed in 8 months

Recalling the journey, Afcons Project Manager SK Misra said, “Earlier there was a waiting period of 3-4 hours in case of traffic jams and due to the poor condition of the bridge. But now the traffic will be able to cross the bridge within 15-20 minutes. Just “.

Nearly a thousand passenger cars use this bridge every day. The link is vital to the socio-economic development of the state as it links North and South Bihar.

“We have completed the entire downstream route (East Wing) in 18 months and various factors have helped speed up the construction work. There were a lot of lessons learned when we were working on the upper side (the west wing). The downstream side supports are prefabricated. We have innovated and innovated in our dismantling methodologies such as the use of a mounting frame for wet joints. We worked in parallel on modifying the pier and installing the truss,” Misra said.

The biggest concern with the project was the traffic running on the adjacent bridge at all times. “At the top of that, we had to deal with a huge volume of dismantling work while also disposing of the waste in an environmentally friendly manner. We had to make sure that no debris from the bridge demolition would reach the river,” Maisarah said.

Approximately 66,360 metric tons of steel was used in the entire superstructure of the bridge. The project manager in this regard explained that “the steel works were a huge scope in the project. The procurement and fabrication works were completed through suppliers and workshops across India.”

River bridge construction is always risky, especially in flood-prone areas. The stakes were high in the case of Gandhi Setu as well. “During the monsoon, we had to negotiate up to 7 meters in water level and high currents in the river area. The floods were natural and shallow water formation due to silt in dry seasons hindered the barge’s movement,” Maisara said.

The hard work paid off, and Misra is satisfied that the project team has given the iconic Gandhi Setu a new lease on life.

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