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Goa’s River Zuari Welcomes India’s Widest Cable-Stayed Bridge

After overcoming numerous challenges, Asia’s first dual-carriageway cable-stayed bridge over Goa’s River Zuari is nearing completion and is expected to be ready for use this month. This impressive infrastructure project is set to substantially reduce travel time between key locations in North and South Goa by nearly 30 minutes, enhancing connectivity and convenience.

Notably, this cable-stayed bridge is a significant engineering marvel and holds the distinction of being India’s widest cable-stayed bridge, featuring eight lanes. The project faced unique challenges related to the laws of physics, as creating two cable-stayed structures in close proximity can cause one to destabilize the other due to changes in wind patterns.

To address this challenge, the team engaged Ukrainian partners, French designers, and Chinese consultants. Their collaborative efforts resulted in a groundbreaking design where the carriageways were divided into four lanes each, treating each carriageway as an independent, cable-stayed structure. This innovative approach, never before attempted in India, is set to revolutionize the construction of cable-stayed bridges.

One cable-stayed structure can alter wind patterns in a way that could destabilize a neighboring structure, leading to structural concerns. To mitigate this, a wind tunnel test was conducted in Denmark using a full-scale model, which ultimately led to the decision to replace concrete crash barriers with steel ones.

The bridge has been meticulously designed to withstand cyclonic winds and is constructed for long-term durability. While one four-lane section is already open for use, the second four-lane carriageway is expected to open for traffic this month. The new Zuari bridge is a crucial link connecting North and South Goa, facilitating transportation between key locations, including Panaji and Margao.

Over the coming weeks, the second four-lane carriageway of the new Zuari bridge will undergo load testing, with vehicles weighing up to 1,024 tonnes, gradually increasing the load from 25% to 100%. The construction of the bridge involved 53 segments for each four-lane carriageway, with every segment weighing around 100 metric tonnes.

Additionally, the Union Ministry for Road Transport and Highways is finalizing the contractor for the construction of two towers approximately 110 meters high above the bridge. These towers, designed to be unique and rival international tourist attractions like the Eiffel Tower, will have observatories at their summits, accessible by high-speed elevators. The bridge will be maintained by contractors, Dilip Buildcon, for a period of eight years to ensure its continued safe operation.

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