The Bridge on the River Phairuang : A Model Built With Paper

Picture of The Bridge on the River Phairuang : A Model Built With Paper
Making a model of the Suspension Bridge on the River Phairuang has been on my mind for a very long time, but due to some reason or other I have been postponing the idea. It is almost 33 years since we constructed that Bridge, and now only I get to make the model in paper.

Though it may be not be that much interesting to all, I feel that this Instructable will be incomplete without a brief history and specifications of the original bridge.
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Step 1: The "Not so Interesting" Part : History and Specifications of the Bridge

Picture of The

Phairuang River is situated in Lungleh district of Mizoram, India. Though the normal water level remains at 2 to 3 feet, it rises to more than 60 feet during heavy rains. Prior to construction of this bridge, all the villages located across this river remained cut-off most of the time during the lengthy monsoon (from April to October). Construction of the semi-permanent bridge started during 1969-70 but without any considerable progress due to so many unfavorable conditions: the main factor being the bridge site is located about 400 kilometers away from Silchar in Assam, the nearest Rail head. In those days only a single lane road through Aizawl and Lungleh connected Phairuang and it took three days to reach the site.

During 1977, I was asked to take over the charge of the Bridge site. The remaining concrete works and protective / river training works were completed by 1978. We planned to launch the superstructure before the monsoon and we got only 5 months for this (from November 1978 to March 1979). Stretching the schedule beyond March would be dangerous as heavy floods would wash away the scaffolding and other supporting structures. More than one thousand people were engaged for the task. A temporary platform with local timber was erected covering the entire span of the bridge and we constructed the superstructure with the help of whatever equipment available to us.

Here is an old photograph of the Bridge  taken by me on March 1979, after commissioning for traffic. You can also see my name on the Bridge in the second photograph. We named it as "Ranjit Bridge" in memory of a worker died during construction.

I also came across a recent photograph of the Bridge taken during 2010 by one Mr. Malsawma Chhangte, from the link below:

Specifications of the Bridge :

  • Total length of the Bridge : 270 feet
  • Spans : Three spans of 90 feet each
  • Type : Stiffened Girder suspension Bridge
  • Designed by : Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers Ltd, Kolkata, India
  • Total Steel used : About 200 metric ton
Let us start building the Bridge with paper to the scale of 1 inch = 10 feet
waawaawaaah3 months ago

Very beautiful. This is one of my favorite bridges. The bridge had been handed over to the Mizoram PWD and I am the engineer presently maintaining it. I recently came to know how the bridge was named and wanted to find out more. That is how I came across this instructable.

The bridge is up for minor repair at the beginning of the coming new year. I will take good care of her for you.

Here is a photo of the stone, taken last month, with your name still on it.

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antoniraj (author)  waawaawaaah3 months ago
thank you very much... I am very happy to see the photograph of that stone which is still intact
(removed by author or community request)
antoniraj (author)  waawaawaaah3 months ago

I am not aware of the design life. However, the bridge was designed by Garden Reach Ship Builders & Engineers Ltd (GRSE), Kolkatta. They may be able to tell the design life as the concerned documents may be available with them.

Ranjit Singh, a Pioneer from General Reserve Engineer Force (GREF), fell down from the scaffolding which was under construction for erection of home bank tower (Lungleh side). He died on the way to hospital. He was from Uttarakhand (previously Uttar Pradesh) and aged about 35 years. So we named the bridge after him. He was the only person lost his life during construction of the bridge

aurooj11 months ago

u r alwaz a winner!

antoniraj (author)  aurooj11 months ago
thank you...
tol196512 months ago


antoniraj (author)  tol196512 months ago
Well done sir, well done indeed
antoniraj (author)  anguspodgorney1 year ago
thank you very much...
That is great! Will you put it up for public display somewhere? Enclose it in plexiglass and put it at a library or town hall maybe?
antoniraj (author)  Todd Gehris1 year ago
thank you... presently I made a temporary show case at my home and displayed it there. I will think over your idea of public display at some school nearby.

This is awesome Sir, I could see your engineering skills very well applied to the paper. Oh wait... I do see a lot of hard work there too :)

Thank you for sharing.

antoniraj (author)  Tarun Upadhyaya1 year ago
thank you Tarun...
Mielameri1 year ago
That's one heckuva story--so interesting and cool! And great ible :). Thanks for sharing!
antoniraj (author)  Mielameri1 year ago
thank you...
patsheldon1 year ago

tedious work i'm sure and what a beautiful job!

antoniraj (author)  patsheldon1 year ago
thank you very much...
bricobart1 year ago

Too bad we only can have I vote!!! Awesome project, I admire your patience & skills and, btw, the 'not so interesting step' was Discovery Channel Megastructures-level! ;)

antoniraj (author)  bricobart1 year ago

thank you.. you are very kind

Honus1 year ago


antoniraj (author)  Honus1 year ago
thank you...

I'm always amazed to see how many awesome things can be done with paper! Wonderful job!!

antoniraj (author)  lindarose921 year ago
thank you linda...