The last Open Web Girder of Bridge Number 44, first-ever over 100 metres tall Pier Bridge of Jiribam-Imphal New Line Project, was launched successfully on 14 February 2020. The project is said to be a major milestone in connecting the state of Manipur to the rest of India through the Indian Railways network. The railway line declared as a national project was taken up in the year 2008 at a cost of Rs 13,809 crore.
Earlier, the railway line project between Jiribam and Imphal, connecting the capital city of Imphal with the broad gauge network was said to be completed by the year 2020. The Bridge Number 164 of the railway line project is said to be the tallest girder railway bridge of the rail network. It is said to have a pier height almost twice as high as Qutub Minar in New Delhi- 141 metres. Earlier, it was also reported that three IITs of the country – Roorkee, Kanpur, and Guwahati are also associated with this project in terms of technical support and proof-checking of designs to make the bridge sustainable and cost-efficient.
According to Project Chief Engineer Sai Baba Ankala, the 111 km long Jiribam-Imphal railway line project, passes through steep rolling hills of the Patkai region, which traverse through many deep gorges as well as over rivers flowing at low ground levels. As a result of this, it has been necessary to construct a total of 52 tunnels as well as 149 bridges crossing 10 railway stations in order to maintain a suitable gradient for the efficient operation of railway services.