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Construction of the New Howrah Bridge was started on 1937.

The Cantilever Era was prevailing

at that time, and engineers felts thatCantilever bridges were more rigid than suspension bridge.
This bridge is one of the finest Cantilever bridges in the world -left to India bythe British
engineers.Considering various aspects like navigational, hydraulics, tidal conditions of the river
and the projected traffic conditions, Rendel Palmer &Tritton came up with a design for a
Cantilever bridge of 1500 feet, with a 71 feet wide roadway and two 15 feet wide cantilever
footways.The contract was awarded to Cleveland Bridge & Engineering Co. Ltd of Darlington
with a strong recommendation that they use Indian-made steel, which they agreed to do. Out of
the total 26,500 tons of steel used, Tata Iron and Steel Company supplied 23,500 tons of steeland
fabrication was done by Braithwaite, Burn and Jessop Co. at four different shops in Calcutta.The
two huge caissons which was sunk (on the first stage of construction) is still the biggest ever
sunk caisson on land.To keep the water out at depth of around the foundations so that
construction can be done, around 500 people were employed onthecompressed air operation. The
air pressure maintained was about 40 lbs per square inch (2.8 bar).. By the end of 1940 the
erection of thecantilever arms was commenced and was completed in mid-summer of 1941.The
two halves of the suspended span, each long and weighing 2,000 tons, were built in December
1941. 16 hydraulic jacks, each of 800ton capacity were pressed in to service for joining the two
halves of the suspended span.After completing the steel work of the deck and concreting of
roadway. the New Howrah Bridge was finally opened to traffic onFebruary1943.
Howrah bridge underconstruction


Central span 1500 ft between centres of main towers

Anchor arm 325ft each


325 feet280 feet

Cantilever arm 468ft each

Suspended span 564ft

Main towers are 280ft high above the monoliths and 76 ft apart at the top

Bridge deck width 71 ft with two footpaths of 15 ft either side15 ft wide footpath on either sides
of the bridge71ft wide bridge deck or road

deserted on a bandhin Calcutta

Other features of the Bridge

All members of the super structure comprise builtup riveted sections with a combination of
hightensile and mild steel

Between towers bridge deck hangs from panelpoints in the lower chord of the main trusses witha
series of hungers (39 pairs)

Road way beyond the tower is supported onground leaving anchor arm free from deck loads

Bridge deck comprises 71 ft carriage way and 15ft footway projecting either side of the
trussesand braced by a longitudinal fascia girder.
More about the Bridge

The deck system consists of cross girders hungbetween pairs

of hungerswith pinnedconnection.

Six rows of longitudinal stringer girdersspan between cross girder.

Floor joists supported transversely on top ofstringers.

They support a continuous pressed steeltroughingsystem.

Over which deck concrete is laid out.

Joint System of Bridge (Expansion Joints)

Longitudinal expansion and lateral sway movement of thedeck are taken care of by expansion
and articulation joints.

There are two main expansion joints, one at each interfacebetween the suspended span and the
cantilever arms.

There are expansion joints at the towers and at the interfaceof steel and concrete structures at
both approach.
Articulation Joints

There are total 8 articulation joints.

3 at each of the cantilever arms.

2 in the suspended portions.

They divide the bridge into segments with vertical pinconnection betweenthem to facilitate
rotational movementsof the deck.

Camber and Traffic clearance

Bridge deck has longitudinal ruling gradient of 1 in 40 from either end

They are joined by a vertical curve of radius 4000 ft.

Cross gradient of deck is 1 in 48 between kerbs and central 4.9mtr.islevel to provide tramway
housing channel in between troughing.

The main tower is founded with single monoliths which are 55.31 x 24.8min plan with 21

Monoliths at Calcutta and Howrah side are founded31.41 m and 26.53 min below ground level

Minimum headroom in carriageway is 5.8 m

Freeboard for river traffic is 8.8 m