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
aurooj8 months ago

u r alwaz a winner!

antoniraj (author)  aurooj8 months ago
thank you...
tol19658 months ago


antoniraj (author)  tol19658 months ago
Well done sir, well done indeed
antoniraj (author)  anguspodgorney9 months ago
thank you very much...
Todd Gehris9 months ago
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 Gehris9 months 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 Upadhyaya9 months ago
thank you Tarun...
Mielameri9 months ago
That's one heckuva story--so interesting and cool! And great ible :). Thanks for sharing!
antoniraj (author)  Mielameri9 months ago
thank you...
patsheldon9 months ago

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

antoniraj (author)  patsheldon9 months ago
thank you very much...
bricobart9 months 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)  bricobart9 months ago

thank you.. you are very kind

Honus9 months ago


antoniraj (author)  Honus9 months ago
thank you...
lindarose929 months ago

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

antoniraj (author)  lindarose929 months ago
thank you linda...