Union Minister of Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari, on 29 December, inaugurated the first phase of the New Zuari Bridge across River Zuari connecting Bambolim in North Goa to Verna junction in South Goa.
Located on NH-17/NH-66 on Panjim-Mangalore section in the state of Goa, the bridge will reduce the travel time between North and South Goa by minimizing the traffic blockades between the Bambolim-Agasaim-Cortalim-Sancoale to Verna Junction.
The new eight-lane cable-stayed bridge is part of a Rs 2,530 crore project with a total project length of 13.20 km. Under the first phase, the 4-Lane righthand-side corridor of the eight-lane bridge, along with 12 km of approaches from Bambolim to Verna, has been inaugurated.
The entire eight-lane bridge is slated to be completed by 2023 and is expected to ease the traffic on the existing two-lane bridge over the Zuari River that has been a traffic bottleneck for years.
The project will also accelerate the route for people traveling to Margao, Panjim, and Vasco via public transport.
Seven Years In Making
The ambitious project has been executed by the Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways. The foundation stone of the project was laid down in January 2016 and was initially scheduled to be completed within three years.
The work order was bagged by Bhopal-based Dilip Buildcon Limited (DBL) which has joined hands with a Ukraine based company, Mostobudivelnyi Zahin Limited (MBZ), to construct the cable stay bridge. MBZ’s involvement is to support in design, technical matters and execution.
Dilip Buildcon Limited, which is constructing the new Zuari bridge, has said the entire eight-lane project will be completed by April 2023.
Second Longest Cable Stayed Bridge
The Zuari cable stayed bridge is 640m long with central navigational span of 360m and end span on both sides of 140m. This makes the bridge the second longest and widest cable stay bridge in India.
Zuari cable stayed bridge has 8 (4+4) lanes with 27 m wide dual carriageways and a centre median of 10.7 m. The bridge deck is of composite structure (steel structure and concrete) and has been built on-site using cutting-edge robotic welding technology.
It was then transported by barge into the river, where it is lifted and erected by lifting frames.
Beautifying with two 125-meter-high tourist observatory towers, revolving restaurant, and an art gallery, the iconic bridge will be a major contributor to state tourism.
The state public works department has already floated the tenders for the construction of observatory towers and viewing galleries atop the new Zuari bridge.
Union Minister for Road Transport and Higways, Nitin Gadkari, has said that the towers atop the new eight-lane Zuari bridge are expected to rival the Eiffel tower as an international tourist attraction.
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