India has a large inventory of bridges including over 1,20,000 bridges under Railways belt, with over 51,000 bridges as much as 100 years old which have outlived their lifespan. There have been periodic reports of some of the bridges under Railways and other agencies collapsing under their weight in normal circumstances and during rainy seasons. History of state of affairs of bridges in the country is abound with interesting stories all pointing out to a skewed approach to the inspection, repairs and maintenance of these bridges which are lifeline of the communication network of the country. In this special issue on Bridges and Roads, we present some of the typical examples to address the critical area of repair and rehabilitation of old and some of the new bridges so that they do not pose a serious danger to the public.
- NBM&CW September 2008