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  • Rising urban congestion has accelerated the pace of development of bridges, flyovers and elevated MRTS structures in cities. Over the years, the segment has witnessed the implementation of projects with complex engineering features, innovative designs and technologies, and new construction techniques.

  • Increasingly, U-girders, precast segmental boxes, cantilever arms, moveable winches and pocket tracks are being used to develop elevated structures.
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  • In the recent past, a few challenging and landmark projects have been completed. These include the longest river bridge on the Dhola-Sadiya section in Assam, the longest extra dosed cable-stayed bridge across the Narmada River at Bharuch in Gujarat, and a cable-stayed bridge on the Chambal River in Rajasthan.

  • Several big-ticket projects are also under implementation. These include the Chenab Bridge in Jammu & Kashmir, the Bogibeel Bridge across the Brahmaputra River in Assam, the Signature Bridge in Delhi and the New Ganga River Bridge in Bihar.

  • Private sector involvement continues to be low due to the size of investment and complexities involved. Meanwhile, several projects have attracted multilateral funds. Recently, the Japan International Cooperation Agency approved funding for the Mumbai Trans Harbour Link project in Maharashtra. The Kachi Dargah-Bidupur Bridge Project in Bihar also attracted funds from the Asian Development Bank.

  • The industry is also deploying the latest equipment and materials to improve the durability and strength of bridges. For instance, hydraulic rigs and seismic buffers are being deployed to deal with geological vulnerabilities. The use of steel rebars is gradually picking up. In addition, increased attention is being given to aesthetically designed structures facilitated by greater foreign participation in the market.

  • However, there are many factors that impede the implementation of bridges/flyovers/elevated MRTS projects. These include geological complexities, inadequate investigation, deficient contract documents, and delays in land acquisition and security and environmental clearances.

  • Meanwhile, in order to ensure the timely rehabilitation of old structures, the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has launched the Indian Bridge Management System (IBMS) for the inventory of all bridges on the national highways.

  • In the last few years, Indian Railways has laid increased focus on the construction of rail overbridges and rail underbridges to eliminate level crossings and improve safety. The Expert Group on Railways has recommended the strengthening of 11,250 bridges to sustain higher axle loads at higher speeds; and elimination of all level crossings. In fact, the upcoming dedicated freight corridor will be free of level crossings.

  • Going forward, the segment will continue to offer significant opportunity in the next few years. The Setu Bharatam programme will see the construction of 208 road overbridges (RoBs)/road underbridges (RuBs), apart from the replacement and strengthening of 1,500 bridges. Under the Sagarmala initiative, Indian Port Rail Corporation Limited will construct 15 RoBs/RuBs.

  • In addition, the National Highways and Infrastructure Development Corporation plans to construct 2,000 bridges by 2020. Over 1,200 km of elevated length is expected to be added in the urban rail segment by 2024-25.

  • States too have outlined plans to develop elevated structures. Karnataka recently announced its plan to construct 195 bridges at a cost of Rs 14 billion over the next three years. Telangana, Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra have also laid down ambitious plans to develop bridges and elevated structures.

  • The mission of this conference is to highlight opportunities for the development of bridges, flyovers and elevated MRTS structures in India, and discuss the key challenges in this segment. It will also showcase the noteworthy projects, the latest technologies and construction techniques, and the best practices in the segment.
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