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Saraighat Bridge, Guwahati Overview

Built over the Brahmaputra River in Guwahati, Saraighat Bridge is the first railway-cum-road bridge. The construction of the bridge was started in 1958 and it was first inaugurated for goods trucks in 1962, by the then Prime Minister- Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru. A year later, on 7th June 1963, it was open to public traffic. The double-decker bridge has a road highway on top with a rail line below. Originally built for the North Frontier Railway, the bridge is a vital link between North East region and the rest of the country; it has Lachit Borphukan Park situated on the south end and Chilarai Park situated on the north end.

The bridge recently completed 50 years of its existence and a research study by a bunch of experts from Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) suggest that the bridge is still good to go for a couple more years before it would need any kind of renovation. The 1.4 kms long bridge connects both banks of the Brahmaputra river in Saraighat, which is a small town famous for the huge war between Ahoms and Mughals. An adjacent three lane concrete bridge was also created and inaugurated in 2017.

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The idea of the construction of the bridge first took birth in 1910 and gained momentum during the Second World War. However, the floods of 1942-43 diminished the idea largely because the stability of a railway line between Bongaigaon and Amingaon was doubtful. Nevertheless, the decision to go ahead with the construction of the bridge was announced in the Budget Session of 1958 and the construction started in 1959. With a total cost of 10.2 crores, the bridge got completed in September 1962 under the contractship of The Braithwaite Burn and Jessop Construction Company Limited. The first engine was pulled over on 23rd September 1962 post inauguration from the Prime Minister and the bridge has been a national hit ever since.

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