Mahatma Gandhi Setu over the river Ganga, is one of the longest bridge in the world of its kind. The bridge was inaugurated in 1982 by the then Prime Minister of India, Indira Gandhi. The bridge connects Patna with Hazipur and is considered as the lifeline between the state capital and the northern Bihar. It has a length of 5,575 m stretched over 48 pilers. It consists of 46 spans of 121 m each and 2 spans of 63.53 m at each end.The deck provides for a 7.5 m wide 2 lane roadways with 2 m wide footpaths on either side. The bridge was built by Gammon India Limited at an expenditure of Rs 87 crore. It is built using cantilever segmental construction method. Currently it is a part of National Highway 19.
Gandhi Setu is an engineering marvel in its own. Constructing a bridge over the Ganga near Patna where width of the river is enormous was always going to be a challenging one. It took a decade to finish the construction work. The work was started in 1972, though this was sanctioned in 1969 only. The bridge has been been in trouble recently due to faults in the technology used, the lack of maintenance and ever increasing traffic volume on the bridge. Two pillars of the bridge developed cracks, much to the surprise of all, as it was considered to serve flawlessly for a century. One way or either at some place over the bridge is always under maintenance, causing heavy traffic jam. It is estimated that roughly 40,000 vehicle use this bridge everyday. It is hoped that once Ganga Rail-cum-Road Bridge, that is under construction, starts operating, the load on the Gandhi Setu will ease. Nevertheless, the bridge is a wonderful feat of engineering, and one should always try to enjoy the ride over it, at least once.