Thursday, August 11, 2016

Pamban Road Bridge (Annai Indira Gandhi Road Bridge), Rameshwaram, Ramanathapuram

Pamban Road Bridge (Annai Indira Gandhi Road Bridge), Rameshwaram, Ramanathapuram
Rameswaram is an island and is connected to the main land only by the Pamban rail and road bridges. The far end of Rameswaram Island is Dhanushkodi. So, to go out of Rameswaram, one has to pass through the Pamban Bridge. It was India’s longest sea bridge for 96 years till 2008. The train bridge opens up in the middle when ships pass underneath. Annai Indira Gandhi Road Bridge is also called as the Pamban Bridge that connects the Rameswaram Island with the main land.

It is the longest sea bridge in India and its length is nearly 2.2 kms and stands as a fine example for Indian Architecture. The bridge was constructed with sufficient elevation. This bridge with a clearance of 45 metres is being supported by 79 pillars out of which 64 pillars are erected in the sea. The islands nearby and the parallel rail bridge below this bridge can be viewed from this bridge.

The Pamban Road Bridge connects the National Highway (NH 49) with the Rameswaram Island. It stands on the Palk Strait and between the shores of Mandapam (Place on the Indian Main land) and Pamban (One of the fishermen town in Rameswaram Island). And it stands parallel to the Pamban Rail Bridge.

After the cyclone of 1964, a plan for a Road bridge parallel to the Existed Railway Bridge was proposed by the Tamilnadu Government, but it was cancelled by Indian Railway Ministry. The construction works of Pamban Road Bridge was commenced on 17.11.1974 by the Indian Highway department (By that time they estimate the cost for built this bridge as 537.57 Lakhs) and contracted to M/S Neelakandan Brothers Engg, Madras.

After the 1978 cyclone the work was carried out slowly, after few years the construction work contract was given to the New Gammon India Ltd., (The Government sanctioned 16.6514 crore INR by 1986). The work was completed on 1988, (It takes merely 14 years to complete this Engineering Marvel). This Road Bridge was named as Annai Indira Gandhi Road Bridge and inaugurated by former Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi On the date of October 2, 1988.

Renovation Works
The Anti-corrosive coating painting works were done in 1992 and 2002. It is proposed that the anti-corrosive coatings should be given once in every five years because of its location (Located in second most corrosive environment after Miami, US). On January 2013, The Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways had sanctioned the renovation project for Rs. 18.57 crores. The Bridge was renovated and given an anti-corrosive coating, Sources said the piers, were painted with coal tar epoxy, and the non-splash zone with epoxy primer. The 592 old bearings were replaced and the electrical cables and the lamp posts were repaired.

The arch shaped architecture of the bridge, and its height from the sea level  let the ships and boats pass beneath its piers (Pillars) without any disturbance (The Pamban cantilever rail bridge has gate like passage arrangement named “Scherzer Roll”  in the middle of it).

The massive dimensions, facts and figures of the Pamban Road Bridge are given below

Name of the Bridge
Annai Indira Gandhi Bridge
Commonly referred Names
Indhra Gandhi Bridge, Pamban Bridge, Pamban Road Bridge
Opened on
1988, 2nd October
The structural Design
Arch Bridge
The Length of the Pamban Road Bridge
2.345 KM
The Total Number Of Pillars (Piers) holding the Bridge
79 Pillars
The Length of the Pamban Road Bridge
2.345 KM
The Total Number Of Pillars (Piers) holding the Bridge
79 Pillars
Number of Pillars (Piers) Stands inside the Sea
64  pillars
The Maximum Height of the Bridge from the sea level
17.68 M
The Number of Electrical Lamp posts on the bridge
174 Lamp Poles
Connecting Places
Mandapam and Pamban
two lane
Over the Palk strait
2824167° N 79.1889222° E

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