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British Industrial History

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Sukkur Bridge

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From 'Engineering', 9 March 1888
1888.

in Pakistan

Also known as Lansdowne Bridge.

The Sukkur Bridge was built to cross the River Indus in what, at the time, was India. It is a cantilever type consisting of a cantilever on each side of the water channel, each having a projection of 310 feet. The central gap of 200 feet between these two cantilevers is spanned by independent girders. Each cantilever consists of large shear legs, or guyed cranes, used to support the bridge platform at a height of 52 feet above low water, or 35 feet above maximum flood height. The clear span between abutment faces is 790 ft. The height of the towers is 169 ft.

At the time of its construction, it was the longest 'rigid' girder bridge span in the world, but this distinction lasted less than a year, the Forth Bridge having two spans of 1710 ft.

A contemporary description of the temporary erection of the bridge in the Poplar yard of Westwood, Baillie and Co in 'Engineering' by consulting engineer William Parsey[1]. See photo.

The design came in for considerable criticism, and site construction proved extremely difficult, in spite of the pre-assembly work done in London. Site erection of the steelwork was the responsibility of Frederick Ewart Robertson and his assistant, M. Hecquet. 'Robertson is to be admired for the way he overcame the seemingly impossible.'[2]

The bridge was designed by Alexander Meadows Rendel. 'The work in India and the mode of, and appliances for erection were designed and supervised by Mr. F. E. Robertson, Supdg. engineer.' Mr. M.S.N. Hecquet was in sole executive charge throughout, with Mr. A.D. Hecquet as an Overseer. The Hecquets (father and son?) were French. Faiz Mahomed was Sub-Overseer. P. Duncan, R. Egerton, and J. Adam, were also associated with the work as Assistant engineers at different times.[3]

1889 Bridge opened, replacing the ferry used previously to cross the river

From 1924 a speed restriction of 5 mph was imposed on trains crossing the bridge. This led to demands for a new bridge, but the demand was not satisfied until 1962, when the Ayub Bridge was opened alongside.


See Also

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Sources of Information

  1. [1] 'Engineering' 9 March 1888, pp.229-230, 240
  2. 'Couplings to the Khyber' by P. S. A. Berridge, David & Charles, 1969
  3. [2] INAUGURATING THE BRIDGE AT SUKKUR - A COMPLEMENT TO THE RECORDS: FRANÇOISE DASQUES, ASSOCIATE RESEARCHER TO THE CEMCA. Journal of Historial Studies, Vol. I, No.2 (July- December 2015)