For a man fighting cancer, Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar looked chipper as he delivered his inaugural speech for the newly opened Atal Setu bridge asking an enthusiastic crowd, “how’s the josh?” The line, of course, a reference to the recently released Bollywood hit Uri was received with chants and cheers, as the CM along with dignitaries Union Minister Nitin Gadkari, and Union AYUSH Minister Sripad Naik among others, inaugurated India’s third longest cable-stayed bridge.
A modern marvel
The Atal Setu bridge is the third longest cable-stayed bridge in the country. This feat of engineering was spearheaded by the Goa Infrastructure Development Corporation (GIDC) with the help of construction giants Larsen and Toubro. The four-lane bridge was constructed using 1 lakh cubic meters of high strength, high-performance concrete, and comprises of 88 high tensile strength cables in a state-of-art single place harp type cable stay system, along with a real-time force monitoring mechanism. Almost 13,000 tonnes of corrosion resistant reinforcement steel, 32,000 square meters of structural steel plates and 1,800 kilometers of high tensile pre-stressing strands have gone into making the bridge.
The answer to traffic woes
Now that the bridge has finally opened, we should see major ease in traffic congestion. Approximately 66,000 vehicles enter the capital city of Panjim every day, though initially, the novelty of the new bridge should see a spike in tourists and locals. Two and three wheelers are still discouraged from taking the Atal Setu since the height and subsequent high-velocity winds can prove extremely dangerous. Assuring the public that the new bridge is more than just an infrastructural attraction, CM Parrikar tweeted on Sunday night, “There is opposition for everything. This mentality has developed. Goans should be positive now. This is my message today… With who’s money is the bridge being built? Whose money is it? It is not my money. It is your money, people’s money.” He further said, “With the support of Prime Minister Narendra Modi Ji and Nitin Gadkari Ji, Goa is making rapid progress on infrastructure development”.
A bridge of trivia
- The new bridge weighs 2.5 lakh tonnes
- The weight of the Atal Setu is equivalent to the weight of 570 Boeing aircrafts
- 1 lakh cubic meters of concrete is enough to fill over 40 Olympic sized swimming pools
- The bridge is a total of 5.1 km in length
- The total height is 70 meters at its highest point
- The construction lasted over four and a half years, having started on June 14, 2014
- The total worth of the project is over 600 crore Rupees
- 1,100 workmen and over 50 engineers worked day and night to complete the project
- This is India’s second Atal Setu, the first being a 592-meter cable-stayed bridge in Basholi, Jammu and Kashmir, also inaugurated by Manohar Parrikar (while serving his term as Defense Minister) in 2015
With inputs from