Dream-bridge to be fully visible by mid-Dec

The 6.15km-long Padma Bridge will be visible completely by December, the month of victory, as the rest three spans will be installed by this time, making the dream of millions come true.

The Padma Bridge, a multipurpose road-rail bridge under construction across the Padma River will connect the south-west region of the country to northern and eastern regions.

The Bridge will connect Louhajong, Munshiganj to Shariatpur and Madaripur, linking the south-western part of the country, to northern and eastern regions.

The 38th span has been installed on the Padma bridge. After the installation of this span, 5,700 meters of the bridge has become visible. The span was set up at noon on Saturday noon (November 21). 

Out of 41 spans, 38 spans of the bridge are now visible. Of these, 29 spans are installed at the Jazira end and 9 at the Mawa end. The 38th span has been placed on the 1st and 2nd pillars, at the very beginning of construction of the bridge. 

Padma Bridge is the most challenging construction project in the history of Bangladesh as the ruling Awami League is implementing it amid various conspiracies hatched at home and abroad. 

In the wake of the World Bank's (WB) cancellation of its contract for $1.2 billion credit for the Padma Bridge, the government led by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina with her sole courage is now showing the world that how the bridge is being constructed. 

Different anti-government and other organizations who vehemently opposed the government decision now extol her courage. By taking the project, the government demonstrates that it has the capacity and courage. At the same time, it has also given a message to the world that this nation is a bold nation, experts said.

The bridge will also open various opportunities for the people of the southwestern region of the country. People around 21 districts are now saying their dream is set to come true. The region is now center focus for more trade and commerce. New industrial units will be built in these districts. As a result, the southern economy will increase as well as employment will increase.

In the future, the bridge will also connect the Asian Highway. It will play an important role in many areas including South Asia and Southeast Asia, including communications, trade and tourism.

The national economy is expected to witness 1.2 percent GDP growth rate, while 0.84 percent poverty will be reduced every year after completion of the bridge.

The Padma Bridge open for traffic in June 2021. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will inaugurate the bridge.

On October 14, 2018, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina unveiled the name plaque of Padma Bridge Toll Plaza at the Mawa end.

And the project work began in 2007 at an estimated cost of Tk 10,162 crore but the cost inflated several times and finally stood at Tk 30,193 crore. 

The Padma Bridge project was scheduled to complete on December 30, 2019. Later, the deadline was extended till June 2021. 

Until now, the progress of the main bridge work is about 91 percent, river training about 75 percent and overall progress 72 percent.

Awami League General Secretary and Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader on Thursday said, “Out of 41 spans of Padma Multipurpose Bridge, 37 spans have already been installed. As a result, 5.55 kilometers (km) of the bridge is now visible. If the current in the river is at the expected level, the remaining four spans will be set up by mid-December”.  

At the 109th board meeting of the Bangladesh Bridge Authority in a video conference, he made the disclosure after unveiling the annual report of the bridge department for the fiscal 2019-2020.

Earlier, the 37th span of the Padma Bridge was installed on November 13, six days after setting up of the previous one, making 5,550 meters of the main structure visible.

Project executive engineer, Dewan Abdul Quader told Bangladesh Post, “We are hopeful about setting up the remaining four spans by December. Then the main structure of the mega bridge will be visible”.

The 6.15-km long double-layer bridge will have a total of 41 spans which would be installed on 42 pillars — 21 pillars at the Mawa point and the other 21 at Jajira point and all the pillars have already become visible.

Economists said the Padma Bridge will help build an integrated communication network in the country, which will change the economic landscape of southwestern Bangladesh.

The government is optimistic that the new megastructure could boost the GDP of the country by 1.2 percent when it is completed, they said.

The region will witness a breakthrough in development following the completion of the Padma Bridge and investment and employment will also go up significantly in the region. 

The construction of the main bridge is being carried out by China Major Bridge Engineering Company (MBEC), a Chinese contractor, while SinoHydro Corporation, another Chinese company, is working on river training.

Meanwhile, Abdul Monem Ltd. has built two connecting roads and the infrastructure for the bridge. The structure of the bridge is being constructed with concrete and steel.