A bridge is a structure made of metal or concrete that connects one end to another be it roadways or railways. As basic as that might sound, bridges have helped change the lives of people. They have provided people access to the outside world, made life easier for people, and opened routes for them, both literally and metaphorically.
In the present time, India has many bridges. Bridges have been constructed in places where it seemed impossible, over rivers, high altitude areas, and even mountains. Some of these bridges are truly magnificent and are considered beautiful pieces of engineering.
Located in Mumbai, Bandra-Worli Sea link is a cable-stayed bridge that means it is entirely supported by cables which run from the tower to the base of the bridge. This bridge which runs over Mahima Bay is considered one of the most stunning bridges in India. After many obstacles regarding the location of the bridge and the strain it would cause on the marine life, the bridge was opened to the public in 2009. The bridge connects the Western and Southern parts of Mumbai and has contributed in reducing the travel time from an hour to just 10-15 minutes. It is indeed an engineering marvel.
When one thinks of Kolkata, the image of the Howrah bridge pops into one's head. Howrah Bridge is the most famous landmark of Kolkata. Located over the Hooghly river, this iconic bridge in India dates back to 1943. It is suspended over the river and is a cantilever bridge that is; it is supported only on the ends. It took six years to complete this bridge, and in its constructed, not a single bolt or nut was used. The steel for this was provided by the Tata Iron and Steel Company. Each day, thousands of vehicles and pedestrians use this bridge. Today, the British Era bridge still stands tall and has stood the test of time.
3. Vidyasagar Setu, Kolkata
Located in Kolkata, Vidyasagar Setu is another bridge that passes over the Hooghly River, and this is also called the Second Hooghly Bridge. The bridge was opened for public use in 1992 and is named after Pandit Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar, a reformer in the area of education. The Vidyasagar Setu is one of the longest cable-stayed bridge. It has six lanes and a capacity of 85,000 vehicles. The bridge is a sight worth seeing when it lights up during the night time.
Mahatma Gandhi Setu is one of longest river bridge in India, and it runs over the Ganges. The bridge was opened in 1982 and connects the state's capital, Patna to Hajipur. The 5.75 km long bridge was constructed by Gammon India Limited, and it took them ten years to complete this marvel. This is an integral part of Bihar as thousands of vehicles and pedestrians use this bridge on a daily basis. It is considered an engineering marvel and the India Post has even launched a postal stamp to commemorate it.
Pamban Bridge in Tamil Nadu is India's first sea bridge and was opened in 1914. It served as the only link between the island Rameshwaram and the mainland until 1988 when a road bridge was also constructed. German engineer Scherzer designed the central part of the Pamban Railway bridge which opens up, and it allows ferries to pass through. It is popularly known as the Scherzer span. It took over a decade to construct this bridge, and even after witnessing damage as it lies in a cyclone prone, it stands tall.
Located in Siliguri in the Darjeeling district of West Bengal, Coronation Bridge is a beautiful bridge surrounded by lush green forests. The bridge runs over the Teesta River and is named after King George VI and Queen Elizabeth's coronation to the throne. The architecture of the bridge is truly unique and is visited by people as it offers a spectacular view. Even the pink colour of the bridge makes it stand apart from its surroundings. The bridge is known among the locals as the 'Bagh Pul' due to the tiger statues located at the two ends of the bridge.
Located in Gujarat, Golden Bridge is an iconic British era bridge. It connects Ankleshwar to Bharuch and is constructed over the Narmada River. The bridge was built in 1881 by the British Raj to ensure smooth flow of trade and access to the officials situated in the port city of Mumbai. The bridge is named so due to its massive cost of construction. The bridge is an integral part of Gujarat's history and even today; it is a sight to behold as the Narmada's water gush under the steel structure.
8. Godavari Arch Bridge, Andhra Pradesh
Opened in 1997, Godavari Arch Bridge is an engineering marvel. The bridge is the longest arch bridge in Asia which is constructed using prestressed concrete. It runs over the Godavari river and is located in the city of Rajahmundry. The bridge is a railroad bridge and is spread across an area of 320 feet. Being situated in a cyclonic area, it has been designed to withstand cyclonic storms.
9. Jadukata Bridge, Meghalaya
Spanning over the Kynshi River, Jadukata bridge is a stunning piece of engineering. It is located in Ranikor in the West Khasi Hills and is surrounded by green forests. It is a cantilever bridge which is connected only on the ends. This bridge is surely one of the most beautiful bridges in India.
Spanning over the Lohit River over 9 km, Dhola- Sadiya Bridge is the longest river bridge in India. It connects the states of Assam and Arunachal Pradesh. The bridge was completed and opened up in 2017. The bridge is considered very important as it will reduce the travel time between the two states from 6 hours to just one hour. It has been constructed to bear the weight of battle tanks to help facilitate their movement for border protection in Arunachal Pradesh. The Dhola Sadiya Bridge was built at a considerable cost and is an asset to the nation.
The bridges mentioned above, whether railroad bridges or road bridges, new or old, are true engineering marvels.