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Lt Gen. S. Ravi Shankar
Intercontinental Consultants and Technocrats Pvt. Ltd., New Delhi
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Quick Launch Bridges: For Safer, Smoother Traffic on Hill Roads (Presentation 735)

Bottle-necks on hill roads due to bridges of inadequate width or load-classification as also unsafe bridges are many and increasing by the day.  These are due to a variety of reasons. A random survey of this on hill roads shows the gravity of the problem.  It leads to sub-optimal utilization of the National Highways (NHs) and related problems of increased transportation costs. It also affects road safety. The reason for the numbers increasing and the issues not being addressed urgently enough is because of using conventional bridge construction techniques that are slow in the mountains, coupled with using obsolete bridges in emergencies.  Modern Quick-launch bridges arean answer to address the more critical bottle-necks; a concept that is less understood and has therefore lagged behind in India and most of the developing World. These will improve both safety on hill roads and result in optimal utilization of the NH Network, paying for the investment almost immediately.