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In this article, we're going to look at the history of Howrah Bridge and learn some wonderful facts about the Howrah Bridge.
This bridge was initially the 'New Howrah Bridge' as commissioned in 1943 because it took the place of a pontoon bridge linking Kolkata (Calcutta) and Howrah. It was later renamed on June 14, 1965, to Rabindra Setu after Rabindranath Tagore, a well-known Bengali poet and the first Indian Nobel prize winner.
How did it all begin? The Bengal Government decided to build a bridge spanning the Hooghly River. The construction of this structure was initiated in 1871. It was at this time that the Bengal Government took the necessary steps to build a permanent crossing through the Howrah Bridge Act. This act was finally enacted in the year 1935 to start the construction of the new structure.
The Howrah Bridge is considered the busiest cantilever bridge, which comes as no surprise since it is located in the fourth most populous state (as per the 2011 census) of the second most populous country in the world. It has the capacity to handle an estimated number of over 150,000 pedestrians and 100,000 vehicles per day. In 1943, the Howrah Bridge was titled the world's third-largest cantilever bridge.
Howrah Bridge is one of the truly iconic bridges in India. The Howrah Bridge is built across the Hooghly River and is the longest cantilever bridge in India.
In the late 1800s, a floating bridge was constructed between the twin cities, Howrah and Kolkata.
Howrah Bridge is very old, and its origin can be traced back to 1871. It is famous for multiple reasons.
Its fame is not only because it is the oldest cantilever bridge in India, but it is also one of the key attractions in Kolkata.
Many people still are unaware of who made Howrah Bridge. The structure was designed by Mr. Walton of M/s Triton, Rendel, and Palmer.
However, the responsibility for erecting and building the structure was given to M/s Cleveland Bridge and Engineering company in 1939.
The Howrah Bridge composes steel and concrete structures at both approaches.
The constructed structure comprises eight articulation joints, out of which three are placed at each cantilever arm, and one is constructed within the suspension portion.
The function of these joints is to divide the structure into segments with the help of a vertical pin connection to produce rotational movements of the deck.
Mr. Walton had proposed to consider the construction of a suspension bridge with a particular design created by him.
Rabindra Setu (Howrah Bridge), which is considered an iconic landmark of the city, has recently completed 75 years of service for the twin cities of Howrah and Kolkata.
As a structure, it remains in good shape and is likely to serve the people of Kolkata subsequently for years.
Surprisingly, the Howrah Bridge does not comprise any pillars that support its suspension over the Hooghly River.
The Howrah Bridge spans 2313 ft (705 m) and possesses a width of 71 ft (21.64 m), excluding the 14 ft (4.26 m) footpaths on both sides.
During the time of its construction, it was recognized as the third longest bridge of its kind.
The deck system of this structure comprises cross girders draped between the hanger pairs with a pinned connection.
The Howrah Bridge has many unique features.
What is special about Howrah Bridge? The Howrah Bridge is built with high tensile alloy steel that comprises longitudinal stringer girders.
Why is Howrah Bridge a cantilever? Inland water navigation is huge on River Hooghly in those times after the Howrah Bridge commission. Piers in between may act as obstructions to the vessels and steamers passing in.
Secondly, the strata underneath the Hooghly River isn't suitable for laying heavy foundations. River beds in the dead reaches will be full of complexion and ground, which is largely not suitable for laying foundations.
One needs to go to huge depths to get hard strata which may not be technically doable in those times as the Hooghly is an imperishable river, and dredging is the only way to shovel soils from its bed.
The Howrah Bridge is unique because of its balanced cantilever structure that spans over the Hooghly River in West Bengal.
Along with its amazing history and origin, Howrah Bridge also possesses some interesting facts about itself. Let's take a look at those amazing facts mentioned below.
Although the New Howrah Bridge Act was enacted in 1922, the construction work was further delayed due to the emergence of World War II.
For the construction of this bridge, many proposals were composed of ideas like building an arched bridge or a tunnel.
The first-ever vehicle that was used on the iconic bridge was a solitary tram.
The KoPT (Kolkata Port Trust) spent an estimated amount of $86,313 on painting the entire bridge. It is reportedly claimed that 7,000 gal (26,500 l) of paint was required.
The bridge was renamed Rabindra Setu to cherish the memory of the well-known Bengali poet Rabindranath Tagore.
The Howrah Bridge is the sixth-longest bridge in the world. The Howrah Bridge is also known as 'Hooghly Bridge.'
In 1943, the bridge was officially used for the first time, and it was titled the world's third longest cantilever bridge, whereas today, it is said to be the sixth longest cantilever bridge.
The bridge was initially titled the New Howrah Bridge because it exchanged the place of a pontoon bridge at the exact location that links the two cities, Kolkata and Howrah.
The other bridges are the Vidyasagar Setu (Alternate Hooghly Bridge), the Vivekananda Setu, and the fairly new Nivedita Setu.
An ideal place for the ground was at Pulta Ghat, which is miles far north of Calcutta.
In 1862, the Government of Bengal had asked George Turnbull, principal mastermind of the East Indian Railway Company, that he study the feasibility of bridging the Hooghly River.
The adding business across the Hooghly river, a commission was allotted in 1855-56 to view druthers for building a ground across it.
The Kolkata Port Trust was built in 1870, and the Legislative department of the also Bengal Government enacted the Howrah Bridge Act under the Bengal Act IX of 1871, authorizing the assistant-governor to have the ground constructed with the help of Bengal Government capital underneath the aegis of the Port Officers.
Different corridors of the ground were constructed in England and packed to Calcutta, where they were assembled.
A steamer named Egeria damaged her levees and collided brutally with the ground, sinking three pontoons and destructing nearly 200 bases of the ground.
Bullock wagons formed the highest count of the vehicular business (as reported on August 27, 1906, the heaviest day's business observed in the harborage of Officers 16 days 'Census of the vehicular business across the being ground).
The smallest shot was provided by a German company, but because of adding political pressures among Germany and Great Britain in 1935, it wasn't given the contract.
In 1935, the New Howrah Bridge Act was enacted to reflect on this, and the building process of the ground started in the coming time.
One night, while getting the muck out to enable the locker for movement, the ground below it flexed, and the complete mass plunged two bases, displacing the ground.
The effect of this incident was so violent that the seismograph at Kidderpore determined it was an earthquake and a tabernacle on the reinforcement deteriorated even though it was latterly rebuilt.
The process of sinking the caissons was completed round-the- timepiece at a rate of one bottom or further per day.
The ground serves as the gateway to Kolkata, connecting it to the Howrah Station, which is one of the five intercity train boundary stations serving Howrah and Kolkata.
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