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Howrah Bridge at 75: A brief history of what reflects the pulse of Kolkata

On the night of February 3, 1943, the bridge was open to the public

Business Standard 

Howrah Bridge
Illuminated Howrah Bridge at night in Kolkata on Saturday Photo: Subrata Majumdar

The iconic Bridge, turned 75 on Saturday. On the night of February 3, 1943, the bridge — believed to be the target of the — was open to the public.

A brief history of the structure that reflects the pulse of the city:

  • The Bridge Act, 1926, was enacted to provide for construction, maintenance and control of a new bridge across the river Hooghly between and Howrah
  • The Commissioners for the were made the Commissioners for the bridge
  • The Port Trust is now the custodian of the bridge
  • It is 2,150 feet long, with a clear span of 1,500 feet, and the highest point is 300 feet above ground level
  • A tramcar was the first vehicle to roll down from the city-end to the station-end
  • Consulting engineers, Rendel Palmer & Tritton, dealt with the construction. and Engineering Company of Darlington were the contractors
  • (then Tata Iron & Company) supplied 23,500 tonnes of The fabrication was done by Braithwaite, Burn & Jessop Construction at four different shops in Kolkata
  • Around 3,000 tonnes of and a number of special items were made in England
  • In 2003, paan-spit and bird droppings were found to have damaged the health of the structure
  • The Port Trust provided Rs 6.5 million to paint 2.2 million sq metres of the bridge. Around 26,500 litres of paint was used
  • An inspection in 2011 showed spitting had reduced the thickness of the bridge from six millimetres to less than three millimetres
  • Between 2013 and 2016 the expenditure for average annual maintenance was around Rs 25 million
  • Around 100,000 vehicles and 150,000 pedestrians use it on a daily basis

First Published: Sun, February 04 2018. 05:46 IST