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Delhi's New Bridge Attracts Dangerous Behavior

Friday, November 16, 2018

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New Delhi’s newest piece of infrastructure, the 675-meter-long (2,214-foot-long) Signature Bridge, which opened earlier this month, is already attracting dangerous behavior from tourists: In just two days, there were 53 incidents of improper parking and 24 one-way violations. There have also been reports of thrill-seekers climbing suspension cables to take hands-free selfies.

The 35.2-meter-wide asymmetrical cable-stayed bridge, which connects Delhi to the area of Wazirabad, is the first of its kind in India. The bridge is also known for being the tallest structure in the city.

Bridge History

Plans for the Signature Bridge began were originally approved in 1997, shortly after an accident on the narrow Wazirabad Bridge caused a bus to fall into the Yamuna River, resulting in the deaths of 22 children. The project has seen a number of delays over the years due to inadequate funding: Costs increased from 1,100 crore (roughly $203.7 million) to 1,575 crore. (So far, the Public Works Department has released 1,244 crore.) 

ThommenJose, CC-BY-SA-4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The 35.2-meter-wide asymmetrical cable-stayed bridge, which connects Delhi to the area of Wazirabad, is the first of its kind in India. The bridge is also known for being the tallest structure in the city. (This photo was taken before the bridge was opened.)

Originally conceptualized in 2004, the Signature Bridge project received a further nod of approval from the Delhi Cabinet in 2007. The project deadline was continually pushed back from 2010, before the Commonwealth Games, to 2013, then June 2016 and then to July 2017, finally landing at its opening date of Nov. 4, 2018.

The bridge was built by the Delhi Tourism and Transport Development Corporation, cutting down commute time from the northeast and the inner city from 45 minutes to 10 minutes.

Dangerous Behavior

To accommodate tourist desire to take pictures of the bridge, an 154-meter-high glass box will serve as an observation deck for visitors, providing a view of the city. Visitors will be taken to the observation deck in four elevators, each able to hold 50 people at a time. The Signature Bridge will also have designated “selfie spots.”

“We are asking people not to risk their lives to take selfies,” said Rajvir Singh, with the New Usmanpur police station. “It is up to them whether they listen to us or not. We can only tell them it’s not safe; there is no law we can use to stop them.”


Tagged categories: Bridges; Health and safety; Infrastructure

Comment from john lienert, (11/17/2018, 4:35 PM)

"natural selection" selfies

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