Long bridges play a significant role in the development of a nation in several ways. They are critical pieces of infrastructure that facilitate connectivity, economic growth, and social development. Some of the key aspects of their significance:
- Enhanced Connectivity: Long bridges connect regions that might otherwise be geographically isolated, enabling the efficient movement of people, goods, and services. This improved connectivity reduces travel time and boosts accessibility, which can have a profound impact on both local and national economies.
- Trade and Commerce: Long bridges often span bodies of water such as rivers, bays, or straits. These bridges enable the movement of goods between regions, encouraging trade and commerce. Improved accessibility to markets and resources stimulates economic activity, leading to increased production, job creation, and revenue generation.
- Regional Integration: Long bridges foster regional integration by linking previously disconnected areas. This integration can lead to the development of previously underutilized regions, as they gain access to larger markets, resources, and opportunities for investment and growth.
- Tourism and Cultural Exchange: Long bridges can become iconic landmarks and tourist attractions themselves. Their construction often leads to improved access to scenic areas, historical sites, and cultural attractions, promoting tourism and cultural exchange. This can contribute significantly to local economies and help preserve cultural heritage.
- Infrastructure Development: The construction of long bridges requires significant investment in terms of engineering expertise, materials, and labor. This investment can stimulate the development of local construction industries and the acquisition of advanced engineering skills, contributing to a nation’s overall infrastructure capabilities.
- Disaster Resilience: In regions prone to natural disasters like floods, tsunamis, or earthquakes, long bridges can provide vital lifelines for the movement of people and resources during emergencies. They can serve as evacuation routes and aid in disaster response and recovery efforts.
- Reduced Congestion: Long bridges can alleviate traffic congestion in urban areas by providing alternative routes across bodies of water. This helps improve the overall efficiency of transportation networks, leading to reduced travel times and fuel consumption.
- Energy Efficiency: Bridges can serve as conduits for utilities such as electricity, water, and natural gas, reducing the need for extensive and costly underground infrastructure. This can lead to more efficient energy distribution and reduced environmental impact.
- Technological Advancement: The design, engineering, and construction of long bridges often involve the application of cutting-edge technologies and innovative solutions. This can lead to the development of new construction methods, materials, and techniques that have broader applications beyond bridge building.
- Symbol of Progress: Long bridges can serve as symbols of a nation’s progress and development. They represent a commitment to modernization and connectivity, which can boost national pride and provide a sense of unity among citizens.
Top 10 Longest Bridges in India
The longest bridge in India is Dr. Bhupen Hazarika Bridge which spans across the River Brahmaputra in Assam. Prime Minister Narendra Modi dedicated this 9.15-kilometer-long river bridge in 2017. Below is the list of the ten longest bridges in India, ranked by length.
|S. no||Name of the Bridge||Distance||Opened||Type||Connecting||Place|
|1||Dhola Sadiya bridge||9.15 Km||2017||Road||Assam and Arunachal Pradesh||Lohit River, Tinsukia, Assam|
|2||Dibang River Bridge||6.2 Km||2018||Road||Arunachal Pradesh||Dibang River|
|3||Mahatma Gandhi Setu||5.75 Km||1982||Road||South Patna to Hajipur||Ganga, Patna, Bihar|
|4||Bandra-Worli Sea Link (BWSL)||5.57 Km||2009||Road||Bandra to Worli (South Mumbai)||Mahim Bay, Mumbai|
|5||Bogibeel Bridge||4.94 Km||2018||Rail cum road||Dhemaji to Dibrugarh||Brahmaputra River, Assam|
|6||Vikramshila Setu||4.70 Km||2001||Road||Bhagalpur to Naugachia||Ganga, Bhagalpur, Bihar|
|7||Vembanad Rail Bridge||4.62 Km||2011||Rail-cum-road||Edappally to Vallarpadam||Vembanad Lake, Kochi, Kerala|
|8||Digha–Sonpur Bridge||4.55 Km||2016||Rail-cum-Road||Digha, Patna to Sonpur, Saran||Ganga, Patna, Bihar|
|9||Arrah–Chhapra Bridge||4.35 Km||2017||Road||Arrah to Chhapra||Ganga, Saran, Bihar|
|10||Godavari Bridge||4.13 Km||2015||Rail cum Road||Kovvur to Rajahmundry||Godavari river, Rajahmundry, Andhra Pradesh|
Top 10 longest bridges in India
- Dhola Sadiya Bridge: Stretching across the Brahmaputra, the Dhola Sadiya Bridge has become one of India’s most extensive bridges. Named Bhupen Hazarika Setu, it links Assam and Arunachal Pradesh. Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated this bridge, curbing the Assam-Arunachal Pradesh distance by 165 kilometers and reducing travel time by five hours.
- Dibang River Bridge: Also known as Sikang Bridge, this structure crosses the Dibang River in Arunachal Pradesh. It ranks as the nation’s second-longest bridge, measuring 6.2 kilometers. This bridge is strategically significant, enabling quicker Indian Army access to the China border.
- Mahatma Gandhi Setu: Extending 5.6 kilometers, the Mahatma Gandhi Setu is a prominent attraction in Bihar. This river bridge traverses the Ganges River, connecting Patna and Hajipur. Once the world’s third-longest river bridge, it stood as a symbol of modernity when inaugurated in 1982.
- Bandra Worli Sea Link: The Bandra Worli Sea Link, or Rajiv Gandhi Sea Link, spans 5.57 kilometers, linking Bandra and Worli districts in Mumbai. This engineering marvel enhances connectivity, using reinforced concrete viaducts and cables for support.
- Bogibeel Bridge: Connecting Assam’s Dhemaji and Dibrugarh districts, the Bogibeel Bridge accommodates road and train traffic over the Brahmaputra. Spanning 4.94 kilometers, it’s India’s longest railroad bridge and employs innovative earthquake-resistant steel-concrete beams.
- Vikramshila Setu: Named after the Vikramashila Mahavihara, this 4.7-kilometer suspension bridge crosses the Ganges in Bihar. The Vikramshila Setu fosters improved connectivity between Barari Ghat and Naugachia.
- Vembanad Rail Bridge: Kerala’s Vembanad Rail Bridge stretches across 4.62 kilometers, facilitating freight train movement between Edappally and Vallarpadam. It’s the nation’s longest train bridge and is a crucial link for Kerala’s rail transport.
- Digha Sonpur Bridge: Also referred to as Veer Kunwar Singh Setu, this multi-span bridge bridges the Ganges between Arrah and Chhapra. It significantly reduces distances between various cities in Bihar and was completed after a prolonged construction period.
- Arrah Chhapra Bridge: Another name for this bridge is Digha Sonpur Rail Road Bridge. Linking Digha Ghat and Pahleja Ghats in Bihar, it unites the state’s northern and southern regions, enhancing connectivity.
- Godavari Bridge: The Kovvur-Rajahmundry 4th Bridge, also called Godavari Forth Bridge, is located in Andhra Pradesh. This twin bridge joins West Godavari District’s Kovvur and Rajamahendravaram’s Diwancheruvu Junction, reducing the distance between Kolkata and Chennai by 150 kilometers.
These bridges collectively contribute to India’s development by improving connectivity, trade, and travel efficiency, fostering regional integration, and showcasing the nation’s engineering prowess.
Q. What is the length of the Dibang River Bridge also known as the Sikand Bridge?
Ans- 6.2 kilometres
Q. Which Indian state has the maximum number of Bridges?
Ans. Considering bridges that are more than 1 km long, Bihar has the maximum number of bridges – 11, whereas there are 9 each in Uttar Pradesh and Assam.