The National High-Speed Rail Corporation Limited (NHSRCL) has achieved a significant milestone in the construction of the Mumbai-Ahmedabad High-Speed Rail Corridor (MAHSRC) by successfully erecting the first steel bridge. This impressive bridge, spanning 70 meters, now stands over National Highway 53 in Surat.
The MAHSRC project plans to include a total of 28 steel bridges, utilizing approximately 70,000 metric tons of specified steel. These steel bridges will vary in span length, ranging from 60 meters with ‘simple support’ to an impressive 230 meters (‘continuous span’).
Satyaprakash Mittal, Chief Project Manager of MAHSRC, highlighted the project’s alignment with the ‘Make-in-India’ vision, combining Japanese expertise with local resources. This showcases India’s capability to construct steel bridges capable of supporting Shinkansen Bullet trains, achieving speeds of up to 320 kilometers per hour.
The assembly process involved meticulous planning and precision. The steel structure, consisting of nearly 700 pieces and weighing 673 metric tonnes, was transported over 1200 kilometers from the Hapur district near Delhi to the installation site. At the site, the steel bridge, standing 12 to 14 meters in height, was assembled on staging above 10- to 12-meter-high piers. The launching nose, weighing approximately 200 metric tons, was then assembled with the main bridge assembly. With careful expertise, the Bridge Assembly was moved to its intended span through a specially designed pulling arrangement, conducted under a complete traffic block on National Highway.
It’s noteworthy that each production batch of steel underwent rigorous Ultrasonic Testing (UT) at the manufacturer’s premises. The fabrication process included cutting, drilling, welding, and a comprehensive five-layer painting technique, adhering to the Japan Road Association’s “Handbook for Corrosion Protection of Steel Road Bridges.”