Work Starts On Six-Lane Bridge Over Ganga At Patna, Rs 2,635 Crore Project To Bring North Bihar Closer To State Capital

Decks have been cleared for construction of seventh bridge on Ganga River at Patna in Bihar for providing a seamless connectivity between the northern and southern parts of the state.

The six-lane cable-stayed bridge is proposed to be constructed over the Ganga River in Patna between Digha and Sonepur, and will be be built parallel to Western side (180 metre upstream) of Digha-Sonepur Rail-cum-Road Bridge (J P Setu).

Alignment of New Ganga Bridge

For this, the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways issued a tender on 31 January. As soon as the agency is selected, the work of construction will be started.

The project shall be developed at an estimated cost of Rs 2,635.89 crore through an engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract and will be ready in 42 months.

The firm selected for construction work will also maintain the bridge for a period of three and a half years from the completion of the work.

The J P Setu is a rail-cum-road bridge across Ganga, connecting Digha Ghat in Patna and Pahleja Ghat in Sonepur, Saran district in Bihar. Named after the famous freedom fighter Jayaprakash Narayan (J P), the bridge provides easy roadway and railway link between northern and southern parts of Bihar.

Connecting To NH-139W

The bridge at Patna on Ganga River is a part of NH-139W which connects the state capital to Bettiah.

The 167-km-long four lane road starts from NH-139 near Patna (AIIMS) and passes through Bakarpur, Manikpur, Sahebganj, Areraj before ending at NH-727 near Bettiah.

Bettiah is the administrative headquarters of West Champaran district and lies near Indo-Nepalese border, 225 kilometres north-west of Patna.

Extra-Dosed Cable Bridge

The total length of the project is 6.925 km which includes extra-dosed bridge of 4.556 km and 2.369 km of approach road to connect the bridge with the road.

An extradosed bridge implies a cable-stayed bridge between two pillars. In such bridges, 50 per cent of the load is borne by the cables and the rest by the deck. This type of bridges requires less number of pillars which reduces the cost and time required for construction.

Further, there shall be four loops totaling 3.085 km to connect the bridge with various parts of the city. Loop 1 and 4 will be between Sonepur and AIIMS Patna whereas Loop 2 will connect to Sonepur to Ganga Path Road.

Proposed Loops on New Ganga Bridge

Bringing Closer South And North Bihar

The project will improve transport connectivity between north and south Bihar, which is divided by the Ganga, and better link to Patna, the state capital city, and the surrounding areas.

In particular, the bridge will directly benefit the residents of Patna, Saran, Vaishali, Muzaffarpur, East and West Champaran districts. Also, it will ease access to the Buddhist sites in the state, namely, Bodh Gaya, Vaishali, Lauria and Kesariya. At the same time, it will be easy to visit Valmiki Tiger Reserve.

Valmiki Tiger Reserve forms the eastern most limit of the Himalayan Terai forests in India, and is the only tiger reserve of Bihar.