Construction of the US$1.86 billion bridge over the River Chenab is in full swing in hilly terrain in the state of Jammu & Kashmir. At present, there are 1,400 workers on site and the structure is due for completion by March 2019.

The deck of the 1.315km-long steel arch bridge will be 359m abover the Chenab – a height that is 35m taller than the Eiffel Tower, points out the Indian government. Once completed, it will be an iconic bridge and an engineering marvel of the world, said railway chief engineer BBS Tomar.

River Chenab rail bridge

The bridge is being built in a seismic region on a 111km stretch of railway between Katra and Banihal that will form part of the Kashmir railway. "The construction of the bridge is the most challenging part of the Kashmir rail link project," said Tomar.

The site was originally inaccessible and some 22km of access roads have had to be built to enable construction. "It is an incredible undertaking because you are building a very large steel bridge in a very remote location,” said quality consultant David Mackenzie.  “It is definitely an engineering marvel and India should boast about it.”

It will require more than 24,000t of steel to construct the bridge. In order to enhance safety and security, the bridge is being made of 63mm-thick special blast-proof steel as the region is prone to terror attacks.