Pamban Bridge Full Details

  • Pamban bridge constructed in 1911.
  • Total length of the bridge is 2.057km.
  • It has 145 spans of 12.20m steel girder and one Scherzer navigational rolling lift Span 225m.
  • It has completed 100 years of life and is still in service.
  • Its construction started in the year 1911 and completed in 1913.
  • This bridge longest span which is 289 feet (88m) long.
  • The approximate estimated cost of construction is 537.57 lakh rupees.
  • 600 workers were involved in the construction of this bridge.
  • 4,000 tons of cement was used for construction.
  • It is India‚Äôs first sea bridge.
  • The bridge consist of 143 piers, out of 145 spans 143 of 40 feet span, one 43 feet span and another one was 44 feet span.
  • 113 spans are on the West side of Pamban channel and 32 spans on the East side. East side is spanned with two leaf Scherzer Rolling Lift Bridge.
  • This bridge longest span which is 289 feet (88m) long.
  • The bridge was designed by Scherzer Rolling Lift Bridge Company of Chicago.
  • The bridge was constructed by Head, Wringtson & co, Ltd of Thornaby-on-tees.
  • The Pamban railway bridge is considered an engineering marvel and it was built within two years. 600 workers were involved in the construction of this bridge.
  • The approximate estimated cost was 537.57 lakh rupees.
  • The devastating cyclone of 22nd December 1964 washed away the bridge.
  • The railway line to Dhanushkodi was also damaged during the cyclone.
  • Prior to the 1964 cyclone, an anemometer was permanently installed at about the middle of the bridge. Whenever the wind velocity exceeded 64/h km it signaled danger. That too was washed away by the tidal waves and it was later replaced with a new one in 1965 which flashed danger signals when the wind velocity was 48/h km and later this limit was enhanced to 58 km/h (16m/s).
  • The Pamban Railway Bridge is also called as Cantilever Scherzer Rolling Lift Bridge. It was named after the German engineer Scherzer, who built the Pamban viaduct. The Scherzer roll and lift span are activated by using the principle of spurs and gears to gain a large amount of mechanical advantage. It is operated manually. For the passage of the vessels the bridge-is, lifted. The Port-Officer informs the bridge operator the date and time of crossing of the steamer. The bridge operator informs the Station Master and the Controller before he lifts the bridge. The entire operation takes nearly 40 to 50 minutes.
  • The stone and concrete metals used for the bridge were brought by rail from a quarry which was situated 270km away from Pamban. Sand came from a site 100km away. 4,000 tons of cement, 1,36,000 cubic feet of clay, 18000 cubic feet of crushed metal, 163000 cubic feet of sand and 80,000 cubic feet of boulders were used to construct the Pamban Railway bridge.


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