Padma Bridge: An impressive mega project gets close to completion
Publish- December 10, 2020, 12:09 PM
Nasir Uddin - UNB Munshiganj Correspondent
Update- December 10, 2020, 03:21 PM
Padma Multipurpose Bridge Project, the much-hyped mega project of the country, nears completion as it has become fully visible with the installation of its last span.
The last span, named 2S, installed on pillars 12 and 13 of the bridge at Mawa point around 12:02 pm on Thursday, said Executive Engineer (Bridge) Dewan Md Abdul Quader.
Workers started their work around 9 am to bring the last span to the bridge point.
This is one of the top priority projects of the government as it has planned to strengthen the country’s communication network, aiming to give a boost to economic activities.
The construction work on the 6.15-km bridge started in November, 2014 and the mega structure is expected to be open to traffic in 2022.
Once in operation, the Padma Bridge, Bangladesh’s largest infrastructure project till date, will connect 21 southern districts with its capital Dhaka and boost the GDP by 1 percent.
China Major Bridge Engineering Corporation (MBEC), was appointed for the main bridge. The steel material bridge’s length is 6.15 km, viaduct 3.148 km (road), 532 m (rail), approach road: 12.117 km, span: 41 (with each span being 150 meters long).
However, the project was first approved by the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (Ecnec) with an estimated cost of Tk10,161 crore in 2007.
Following irreconcilable differences with the World Bank arising out of the issue of financing, in 2012 the government decided to go for it alone.
The second revision of the project was approved by Ecnec on January 5, 2016 with an estimated cost of Tk 28,794 to be implemented by 2018. Without changing the project proposal, the costs were increased again to Tk 30,193 crore In June 2018.
On October 14 last, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina opened the construction work on the rail link between Dhaka and Jashore under the ‘Padma Bridge Rail Link Construction Project.’
The first phase of the ‘Padma Bridge Rail Link Construction Project’ will establish a rail link between Mawa and Bhanga via Janjira and Shibchar through the Padma Multipurpose Bridge.
This will connect Dhaka, Narayanganj, Munshiganj, Shariatpur, Madaripur, Faridpur, Gopalganj, Narail and Jashore.
China Railway Group Limited, a Chinese government-nominated contractor, is implementing the project under the China G2G system.
Once constructed and in operation, economists say, the greater road connectivity will play a significant role in trade and commerce with Bangladesh’s entire southern region.