Padma Bridge will be completed within 15 months, according to bridge experts.
“The construction of the entire Padma Bridge will be completed within 15 months,” chief of the expert committee on Padma Bridge Jamilur Reza Chowdhury told Prothom Alo.
The entire bridge will be visible in July of 2020, he added.
One and half kilometers of the bridge have been visible with installation of the 10th span at the bridge’s Mawa end of Munshiganj on Wednesday.
According to the new design, there are a total of 294 piles in the Padma Multipurpose Bridge. The work of 247 piles has already been completed. Fifty per cent work of 15 piles of the remaining 47 piles has already been finished. There will be 42 poles in 294 piles. A total of 41 spans will be installed on these poles. The construction of 22 poles of 42 poles has been finished. The construction of more 10 poles will be completed by June this year.
A portion of Padma Bridge became visible on 30 September of 2017 after installation of the first span on 37 and 38 piers. The ninth span was installed on 35 and 34 pears on 22 March this year. A total of 1350 kilometers became visible on the day.
Sources said another span may be installed on 33 and 34 pears at Jajira end on 20 April. The authorities have a plan to install another span at the end of April.
Two level Padma Bridge is being built between Mawa of Munshiganj and Jajira of Sariatpur. The length of the main bridge is 6.15 kilometers. Trains will below and the others vehicles will ply above, on the span.
Besides pillars and spans, work is on for the railway slab.
On 28 August 2007, the caretaker government passed the Padma bridge project to be implemented at a cost of Tk 101.61 billion.
After coming to power in 2009, the Awami League government added a railway line to the project. In 2011, the project cost was revised to Tk 205.07 billion.
In 2016, the project was further revised to Tk 287.93 billion.
The cost of constructing the bridge had increased again as the authorities were to acquire additional land from the local people, officials said.
In 2012, the implementation of Padma bridge faced a major setback when the World Bank had cancelled its $1.2 billion credit for the project, raising corruption allegations.
The government then decided to build the mega project with its own funds.
This bridge will link the southwest of the country to the northern and eastern regions.
Around 1.5 per cent GDP growth is expected in the economy once the bridge goes into operation and around 40 million people of the southern region are likely to be benefitted.
*This report, originally published in Prothom Alo Bangla online, has been rewritten in English by Rabiul Islam.