The procedure for installing the second span of Padma Bridge, with a serial number of 7B, started on Saturday.
However, the installation could not be completed due to some technical difficulties.
Engineers associated with the project had previously said that the span would be installed atop pillar number 38 and 39, increasing the length of the bridge to 300 metres.
According to them, the installation of the second span was delayed a number of times before. This particular span was supposed to be placed on January 23 and later on Thursday [January 25].
The work for placing the span started from early Saturday morning. The grey coloured span, which has a length of 150 meters and a weight of 3,140 tons, was placed upon the lifting frame and bearing between pillars no 38 and 39.
The engineers added that the 7B span was taken from the area around pillar no 35 to the area around pillars no 38 and 39 in a crane with a weight capacity of 3,600 tons. A lifting frame had been built to weld the span permanently to pillar no 38.
Different tests were conducted after placing the span upon the pillars. An estimate of 2-3 hours were to be needed to complete the whole procedure, they added.
Previously, an 11-member panel with five foreign specialists led by Dr Jamilur Reza held a meeting on Thursday for overseeing the installation.
Another meeting was held on Friday where different issues such as piling, superstructures and sub-structures were discussed. However, the main agenda of the meeting was to finalize the blueprint of the designs of 14 pillars.
The meeting will resume on Saturday evening where a decision on the blueprint will be reached and contractors will be informed of the decision, said the affiliated engineers.
On the other hand, when asked about the delay in the installation of the second span, an engineer said, “The installation of the second span is a ‘major groundwork’. There are a few parameters within which we had to conduct tests. There were also some problems in the channel which we had to solve.”
Previously, the first span of the Padma Bridge was installed atop pillars no 37 and 38 at the Janjira point of Shariatpur on October 7 last year.
Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader hoped that the project’s work would be wrapped up around the stipulated time by December this year.
Once completed, the Padma Bridge will stand over the 42 pillars, including two transition pillars on the two landward ends. These pillars will bear the load of 41 spans, each 150m in length, to connect the 6.15-kilometre-long bridge.