Padma Bridge works pick up pace
3 January 2015, Nirapad News : Construction work on the approaches to the 6.15-km-long Padma Bridge has has moved into full steam. Men and machine are working at both ends of the railroad bridge at Mawa in Munshiganj district and Jajira-Shibchar in Madaripur are going on in full swing. The bridge is expected to be opened to traffic in 2018. Once that happens, the bridge will directly link 21 southern districts to Dhaka city and other areas of economic importance. Economists say this is Bangladesh’s ambitious infrastructure project since the birth of the nation about 44 years ago and once completed, it is likely to boost the country’s GDP by more than 1 per cent.
Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader insists that Padma Bridge is ‘no more an unrealistic dream. Work on the project has started in a big way. This bridge will be opened to traffic in 2018,’ he said. Project Director Shafiqul Islam said 15pc of the work on the bridge has already been completed at a cost of around Tk 60 billion.
The construction works have been divided into 7 parts. China Major Bridge Engineering Company Ltd has been awarded the contract for the construction of the main bridge at Tk 120b. They promise to finish that by May 2018. Another Chinese company, Sinohydro Corporation Ltd, has secured the Tk 87.07b contract for work on ‘river training’. Local company Abdul Monem Ltd and Malaysia-based HCM are jointly constructing the approach roads for Tk 12.9b.
The bridge authorities said 22pc of the work on the Mawa approach road and 29pc of the work on Jajira road has been completed. Abdul Monem Ltd is also constructing the ‘service area’ under a Tk 2.08 billion contract and it has already finished 12pc of the work. Korean Expressway has been appointed consultant for the construction of main bridge and river training work for a Tk 3.83b deal. Special Works Organisation of Bangladesh Army is working as the consultant for construction of approach roads and service area for Tk 1.33b.