The timeless Howrah Bridge
is a symbol of modernity for Bengalis. Made by a Bengali architect, it acts as a bridge between the east and west for the people of Kolkata. Opened on February 3, 1943 the magnificent bridge turns 75 this February and the glory of the construction fails to fade.
Popularised by the cinematic arrest, this bridge is a result of the bloc of extraordinary architectural talents. The bridge officially opened in 1943 when it was the world's third longest cantilever bridge. Today, it is the sixth longest bridge of its type in the world.
Here are five facts that make it stand tall till date and riveted in brilliance! A bridge without nuts and bolts
It is hard to believe but is a fact. The gigantic bridge spread across the width of river Hooghly
does not have a single nut and screw to join the huge formations of metal. The unique cantilever bridge was constructed by riveting metal shafts. The metal used is Indian
India had proved its brilliance in the world and Howrah bridge is stading tall to speak volumes about it. It consumed 26,500 tons of steel, out of which 23,000 tons of high-tensile alloy steel, known as Tiscrom, were supplied by Tata Steel
. A suspended bridge
The bridge deck hangs from panel points with 39 pairs of hangers. Yes, it is a hanging bridge! Amazing, isn't it? There are no pillars in between despite being the sixth longest bridge of its type in the world. Why is it called the 'new' Howrah Bridge?
Mr. J. McGlashan, the chief engineer of the Port Trust
, wanted to replace the existing pontoon bridge, with a structure that would be a permanent solution to the river traffic as the present pontoon bridge interfered with North/South river traffic. Hence it is referred to as the 'New' Howrah Bridge till date. One of the busiest bridges in the world!
The bridge carries a daily traffic of approximately 100,000 vehicles and possibly more than 150,000 pedestrians, making it one of the busiest cantilever bridges in the world. On June 14th, 1965, the bridge was renamed Rabindra Setu after the great Bengali poet Rabindranath Tagore. However, it is still popularly known as Howrah Bridge.