When completed, the 19-km bridge will connect Dhubri in Assam to Phulbari in Meghalaya in the Northeastern region Credit: EastMojo image

The construction arm of Indian engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) to services sector multinational, Larsen & Toubro has secured a large contract to construct what will be the country’s longest road bridge across the River Brahmaputra.

When completed, the 19-km bridge will connect Dhubri in Assam to Phulbari in Meghalaya in the Northeastern region.

The bridge will be built by L&T Construction on the National Highway 127-B and feature a navigation bridge of 12.625 km and approach viaducts of 3.5 km on the Dhubri side and 2.2 km on the Phulbari side that will be connected with approach roads and interchanges on both sides.

“This is an extremely challenging project, and we thank our client, National Highways & Infrastructure Development Corporation Ltd. (NHIDCL) for reposing confidence in our capability to build such a defining piece of infrastructure,” remarked SV Desai, Whole Time Director & Senior Executive Vice President of Civil Infrastructure, L&T.

Explaining the significance of the Dhubri-Phulbari project, Desai added, “Not only will it be an important passage for offering easier access to our Northeastern international borders but will give a huge fillip to trade and commerce in the region for the accelerated development of all the Northeastern states, especially Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura and the Barak Valley.”

The bridge will be of immense strategic importance as it will help improve the connectivity of the Northeastern states with the rest of the country and establish a vital link between Assam and Meghalaya by reducing the distance between the two states by 250 km.

Currently, the travel between Dhubri and Phulbari by river ferry services take upwards of two hours.

Since 2014, the Northeastern region has witnessed the launch as well as completion of several big-ticket infrastructure projects. The projects are an important part of the Central Government’s “Act East Policy” that seeks to develop the region as the gateway to Southeast Asia.

The nearly five-kilometre long road-and-rail Bogibeel Bridge was completed in December 2018 and is the country’s first such structure to have fully welded steel-concrete support beams. Launched in April 2002, several construction delays led the project to be finally executed in about 16 years.

Located close to the Bangladesh border, the Dhubri-Phulbari bridge is expected to be completed by 2027. The project will be funded by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) through a low-interest loan. The Dhubri-Phulbari bridge is among the six new bridges proposed on the River Brahmaputra.

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