India’s First cantilever bridge
Pamban Bridge is India’s first cantilever bridge that connects Rameshwaram with mainland India. The bridge was opened on February 24, 1914.
It was also India’s first Sea bridge and one of the longest bridges in the country.
The bridge is the life line to Rameshwaram Island.
Scherzer central span
The 65.23 metre long rolling central span of the 2.06 km long bridge, is named after William Scherzer, the German engineer who designed and built the span.
It opens up like a pair of scissors to allow vessels to pass through under the bridge.
1964 Cyclonic storm
In 1964, even when a severe cyclonic storm hit this part of the area, Scherzer’s central span withstood nature’s fury. What is further remarkable is how this entire bridge was restored for traffic in a mere 46 days under the leadership of the man behind the Delhi Metro, E.Sreedharan, who was then posted in the Southern railway.
Of course, Rameshwaram has yet another bridge just parallel to it which was built in 1998. But that is a road bridge.
Longest for around 100 years
Pamban had stayed as the longest sea bridge of India for close to a 100 years, until it was surpassed by the 2.3-km Bandra-Worli sea link built recently on Mumbai’s western coast. But then again, Bandra-Worli Sea Link is only a road bridge.
Pamban has much more load to carry as it is a rail bridge. Starting as a metre guage railway line it was upgraded to a broad guage line in 2007 and then again in 2009 it was further strengthened to carry goods train.
Among the world’s old and historic bridges, the London Bridge is one of the more famous ones.
In comparison with London bridge
In comparison to the London Bridge, the Pamban Bridge has had to face much more fury from Nature as it is built over a Sea.
It is located in world’s second most corrosive environment after Florida which makes it maintenance a challenge and a round the year activity. It is an activity that has been going on unfailingly for the last 100 years.
A train journey on this legendary sea bridge is sure to put everyone in awe. In awe of nature power and human skills!