Friday 24, March 2023

Padma Bridge to open for traffic on June 25

News Desk: The long-awaited 6.15-kilometre Padma Bridge is likely to open to traffic on June 25 as work on the country's longest infrastructure has been done within timeline.

Official sources, however, say the inaugural date, due to be disclosed by the prime minister or the bridges minister, will be any day in the last week of June.

Although the project office formally told the authorities to announce the date after June 15, they add, some minor work remains pending due to labour constraints centring Eid vacation.

"All work is now being carried out targeting June 25," says an official who prefers not to be named.

The date may be changed as discussion is ongoing between bridges division and the minister, he adds.

According to the Padma Multipurpose Bridge project office, 98-per cent work of the main bridge has been done enabling vehicles to ply it night and day.

Asphalt work on the bridge is completed, but some minor work is still pending. Electric posts are expected to get power line in the next 10 days.

But bridge railings are yet to arrive in the country.

Project director Mohammad Shafiqul Islam says heavy vehicles carrying asphalt are running over the bridge.

About the delay in the arrival of railings, he says inauguration of the bridge can be done without the bars as there is a parapet wall on it.

However, bridges secretary Mohammad Monjur Hossain says actual date for inauguration of the dream bridge will be finalised after doing the remaining work in the next one or two weeks.

"We might be able to confirm the date in the next few days subject to the progress in the bridge work," he told the us at his office on Monday.

Padma Bridge is the incumbent government's priority project undertaken in January 2009. The billion-dollar scheme has gone through multiple challenges since its launch.

The project office revised the deadline four times for reasons like fund withdrawal by development partners, design faults and delays in building work. The Padma Bridge which is designed in two-tiers with steel-truss composite keeping road on the top and rail below is the deepest foundation bridge in the world.

The government declared to run both road and rail on the opening day, the idea of rail operation was dropped at the last moment.

The Bangladesh Railway will start working on the rail part of the bridge after completion of the road bridge.


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