Vidyasagar Setu, which is famously called Second Hooghly Bridge is located over the River Hooghly in Kolkata. Vidyasagar Setu is reckoned as one of the longest bridges of its type across India. It is also acknowledged as one of the longest bridges of Asia. This cable-stayed bridge covers a little over 457 meters and has a deck of 35 meters width. The building process of the bridge was initiated in 1978 and it was eventually opened to public on the 10th of October, 1992. A whopping amount of Rs.3.88 billion was invested for constructing the Vidyasagar Setu. The bridge carries the NH 117, also known as the Kona Expressway. The cable – stayed bridge has a main span of 457 m and 35m wide. With six lanes of traffic, the bridge can carry more than 85,000 vehicles every day.
Location of Vidyasagar Bridge at Kolkata
Vidyasagar Setu, popularly called Second Hooghly Bridge is located over the Hooghly River (Ganges) in Kolkata, West Bengal. It bridges the gap between two pulsating cities of Howrah and Kolkata.
History of Vidyasagar Bridge at Kolkata
Boasting a length of 823 meters (2,700 ft), Vidyasagar Setu is considered the longest cable-stayed bridge across India and one of the longest bridges in Asia. Vidyasagar Setu is also called Second Hooghly Bridge, since it was the second bridge constructed over the River Hooghly. The first bridge was the Howrah Bridge, which is also called Rabindra Setu. The Vidyasagar Setu has been named after the reformist Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar.
The construction of the bridge involved a total investment of about Rs. 3.88 billion. The building of the bridge was initiated on July 3, 1979 and it was commissioned on 10 October 1992 by the Hooghly River Bridge Commission. The project was a joint venture between the private and public sectors, controlled by the Hooghly River Bridge Commissioners. About 30,000 vehicles ply over the bridge daily, which is significantly less than its capacity of 85,000. The foundation stone of the Second Hooghly Bridge was laid by the erstwhile Prime Minister of Indi a, Mrs. Indira Gandhi on 20 May, 1972. The completion of the bridge took more than 22 years.
Work on the cable-stayed bridge commenced with the building of the well curb on the Calcutta bank end on July 3, 1979. During the commission of the bridge on October 10, 1922, it was reckoned as the longest span bridge of this kind across the globe. During that period, Vidyasagar Setu was the first cable-stayed bridge in India, the largest in Asia and the third largest across the world.
This cable-stayed bridge, Vidyasagar Setu has 121 cables, which are fashioned in a fan arrangement and is constructed using steel pylons 127.62 meters high. The bridge has a total width of 35 meters, with 3 lanes in each direction and wide footpath of 1.2 meters on either side. The deck over the main span measures 457.20 meters. Vidyasagar Setu charges toll from the passing vehicles. The bridge is capable of bearing the load of more than 85,000 vehicles per day. The design of the bridge was done by Schlaich Bergermann & Partner and the construction process has been accomplished by consortium of Braithwaite, Burn and Jessop (BBJ).
The bridge is equipped with a number of vital components, which include lightning arresters, handrails, gas service support structures, cash barriers, lifts in the pylons, electric lines and telephones and a maintenance gantry. Plans have been made to improve the lighting system of the bridge by installing LED lamps and searchlights. Plan is also in progress to install an electronic toll collection system, which is scheduled to be activated from 2014. It will aid in improved flow of traffic across the bridge.
Vidyasagar Setu connects Howrah to the metropolitan city of Kolkata. The bridge charges toll from the passing vehicles. However, it is free for bicycles.
- Vidyasagar Setu has been named after the great erudite and reformer Pandit Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar. It is also called the Second Hooghly Bridge, as it was the second bridge built on River Hooghly after the Howrah Bridge.
- The foundation stone of the Vidyasagar Setu was laid by Indira Gandhi on May 20, 1972.
- Vidyasagar Setu is a cable-stayed flyover with 121 cables, styled in fan arrangement.
- The bridge with a total width of 35 meters, features three lanes in each directions and a 1.2 meters wide footpath on each side.
- Vidyasagar Setu is capable of handling 85,000 vehicles per day.
- Vidyasagar Setu was subjected to prototype wind tunnel tests at the Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore.
- A whopping amount of Rs. 3.88 billion was invested for the construction of the Vidyasagar Setu.