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09 May 2007

Mott MacDonald India appointed on Highways project

Mott MacDonald India has been appointed by the National Highways Authority of India to provide civil engineering and technical supervision for a new project designed to increase the capacity of a section of the National Highway 31 linking Guwahati city with the northern districts of Assam and the rest of the country. The project will involve widening an existing two lane road to a four/six lane carriageway as well as constructing a new bridge across the river Brahmputra at Guwahati to enhance the capacity of the existing carriageway and support forecasted future growth in traffic.

The new bridge, which will be located 40m from an existing road cum rail bridge, will be 13.85m wide with eight numbers of intermediate spans of 123m and a total length of 1493m. The superstructure will be a single cell continuous prestressed box girder with flexible hollow rectangular piers in the substructure and double D-wells of 16m diameter for the foundations. In addition to the 1493m long main bridge and 252m long viaduct the project also includes construction of 3km of approach roads.

The positioning of the bridge is extremely important as the River Brahmaputra is one of the world’s oldest and biggest rivers and its sub-basin extends nearly 580,000 km2 over Tibet, India, Bhutan and Bangladesh with a total drainage area in India of 195,000 km2. Every year floods ravage Assam as the river rises and expands up to 19 km wide.

Harendra Kumar, Mott MacDonald’s Project Manager explains, “The proposed site for the new structure is at Saraighat due to its firm banks which even during floods retain a distance of no wider than 1.2 km. The river starts widening just after the proposed site. As a result of the resulting high stream velocity and its high scour, foundation wells need to be sunk to 48m. Sinking of double D-wells to such a depth will be a real challenge. As such construction of the balanced cantilever type superstructure will also present interesting challenges.

We’re delighted to be chosen by the National Highways Authority for this exciting project and look forward to demonstrating our world-class civil engineering skills and delivering a bridge that will serve Assam’s travellers for many years to come.“

The project is due to be completed by the end of 2009 and has an estimated capital value of US $51 million.


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