Chenab Bridge soars through construction process thanks to BrIM

Due to the enormous scale and complexity of the Chenab Bridge project, Bridge Information Modelling (BrIM) was a prerequisite from the client and consequently, Trimble’s Tekla Structures software has been used from the beginning. By incorporating Tekla software, it has enabled efficient collaboration between all parties, as well as allowing the steel structures to be modelled accurately and drawings to be easily printed directly from the model for the fabrication team.

Located in northern India, the Chenab Bridge is being constructed as part of the new Baramulla – Srinagar – Udhamptur railway and is one of the highest (by deck height) and longest-spanning railway bridges of its type in the world. Erected on Himalayan bedrock with foundations approximately 40 metres high and 50 metres wide, the arch and piers of the bridge are masses of steel trusses, while the foundations and the approach viaduct piers are made of concrete. As the new railway bridge is being built under extremely demanding conditions and will continue to face an array of challenges, at the beginning of project the client, Konkan Railways Corporation, stated that BrIM was to be used to create an innovative design and ensure effective co-operation between all parties involved.

As such, WSP Finland, the designing consultant on the project, chose to use Tekla Structures software, as it contains precise, reliable and accurate information needed for successful BrIM and construction execution; it also creates more accurate ways of working and streamlines collaboration between all parties. On this project, using Tekla Structures allowed WSP Finland to organise the plate material for better logistics in the difficult terrain; it made it easier to receive the approval from local authorities too, thanks to the visualised 3D models, which were more practical to present in meetings than 2D drawings. 3D visualisation is a comprehensive tool required for bridge design, as it facilities the processes and makes them more successful. The designers can use the 3D models, which include all of the data that is relevant to the project, in all phases, from conceptual design to the preparation of final workshop drawings.

Matti-Esko Järvenpää, Development Manager Bridges & Structures from WSP Finland, said: “We use Tekla Structures because it is a parametric modelling tool and the model includes all of the data that is relevant to the project, from conceptual design to detailing and fabrication. The accurate data can be used in construction on-site, and even for asset management later in the maintenance phase.”

Tekla Structures also increased efficiency and optimisation on this project, thanks to its extensive range of connections and automated clash checking, which exposes conflicts at an early stage. The designing consultant could also execute reinforced concrete, braces, elements and block constructions, and due to its dimensional accuracy and steady coordinates, the end result was reliable and as expected.

A BrIM can be used by various project participants, from contractors to subcontractors, to enter and output measurements and dimensions. In the case of the Chenab Bridge, the Tekla Structures model has produced tens of thousands of drawings, with members of the various parties using it daily to run files for production, management and flame cutting. The contractor on the project, Chenab Bridge Project Undertaking (CBPU) has many BrIM users working on the project, and the site management uses Tekla BIMsight for reviewing the model on site.


Unsurprisingly, the design practices in bridge projects have gradually moved towards model-based design, as visualising information makes it easy for all parties to understand the process, and in the planning period the components can be associated with scheduling information. Taking this approach on the Chenab Bridge project has certainly proved that BrIM can make a large-scale project seem less complex to design, plan and construct as one may think.


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