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There’s good news for the residents of Assam and Meghalaya, for the country’s longest river bridge is all set to be built across the Brahmaputra River, cutting down road travel distance by over 200 km. The newly proposed bridge will connect the old town of Dhubri in Assam with the village of Phulbari in Meghalaya. Presently, those wishing to travel the distance have to take the Naranarayan bridge which is a huge inconvenience as it is 60 km upstream. Alternatively, some prefer to row across the river in small boats which eats up about two and a half hours.
Bridging gaps in the northeast, this bridge will hardly take 15-20 minutes to cross the river once the 19.3 km, four-lane bridge is signaled to open for the public. Looking at the challenges in the bridge’s construction, the government's highway construction branch, National Highways and Industrial Development Corporation, has approached big companies in France.
But don’t get too excited yet—the proposed project will take as long as 2026-27 to complete in its entirety.
Senior government officials have been quoted as saying that the bridge will lead to an upswing in development and economic activities on both sides of the Brahmaputra, along with an improvement in connectivity from West Bengal to Assam. NHIDCL (National Highways & Infrastructure Development Corporation Limited) officials say that they are looking to float tenders for the project and award the work during this financial year itself. Moreover, it is scheduled to be a public-funded work and will take time since construction can only be carried out during six months of the year.
Currently, the longest river bridge in India, at 9.15km, is the Dhola-Sadiya bridge which was opened last year.
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