RAMANATHAPURAM: Construction of the country's first vertical-lift railway sea bridge at Pamban, connecting the Indian mainland with Rameswaram Island, will be completed by March 2023, the railway department said in a press statement. The existing Pamban railway bridge was built in 1914 to connect the Mandapam and Rameswaram islands situated in the Gulf of Mannar. It was the sole link connecting the two locations until a parallel road bridge was built in 1988.
"The new 2.05-km long bridge is being constructed at an estimated cost of Rs 535 crore by the Rail Vikas Nigam Limited, considering the run-down condition of the existing rail bridge. It will allow the Indian Railways to operate trains at a higher speed and will enable better accessibility between Rameswaram and the mainland. Around 84% of the construction work has been completed.
The sub-structure work, including 333 piles and 101 pile caps, has been completed. Fabrication of 99 approach spans has also been completed, while fabrication of the vertical lift span girder is nearing completion. Track-laying work is also underway," the statement read.