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Padma Bridge authorities seek more time

  • Published at 01:38 pm August 6th, 2017
  • Last updated at 11:39 am August 10th, 2017
Padma Bridge authorities seek more time
The Padma Bridge project authority has submitted a proposal recently to the government requesting an extension of the deadline to complete the project - till June 2019 instead of December 2018. According to the authority, piling work for the bridge was disrupted due to uncontrollable current on the river bed, as well lack of hard soil underneath. The incumbent Awami League government, however, is committed to complete the priority project before the next parliamentary election. “Bangladesh Bridge Authority has already submitted the proposal to the Implementation Monitoring and Evaluation Division (IMED) for a new deadline,” said an official. “The IMED has already given a positive response after evaluating the condition of the river.” However, none of the officials, including the project Director Md Shafiqul Islam, made any comment on the issue. When asked, Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader said: “The government did not accept such proposal on the Padma Bridge project.” “Padma is one of the uncertain rivers of the world, like the Amazon. There will be ups and downs in its flow. But we are still firm on our decision to complete the bridge by December 2018,” the minister, also the general secretary of Awami League, added. [arve url="https://www.youtube.com/embed/mD211r0dJfY"/] Meanwhile, Professor Jamilur Reza Choudhury, head of the advisory-panel of the project, said: “We have given some additional directives and guidelines to the construction firm to strengthen the piling work. Especially 14 (piers) pillars are proving to be problematic, which is why it should be re-analysed.” “If we have to remodel the pillars, it can take more time,” the renowned professor added. Padma Bridge will stand over 42 pillars, including two transition pillars towards the land, with the support of 240 piles. These pillars will carry 41 spans. Each of the span’s length is 150 metres. The Padma Bridge will be 6.15km long. According the design, the depth of the piles was 90 metres to 120 metres. But during the construction, the soil underground turned out to be in very poor state. “In view of the existence of clay layer under some piers at a level higher than that assumed in the design and the requirement that the toe level of the pile should be 9 metres above the clay layer, studies are being conducted now to explore the feasibility of reducing the length of piles under some of the piers and, if necessary, increase the number of piles from 6 to 7 under those piers,” said professor Jamilur Reza, chairman of International Panel of Experts on Padma bridge construction. The piles on the Bangabandhu Bridge over the Jamuna River were constructed on only 78 metres depth. Bridge authority officials said some 44% construction work of Padma Bridge was completed till June and the first span of the bridge will be installed in September. Initially, the plan was to install the first span on the Mawa side, but now the span will be installed at the Jazeera point because of strong current in the river. The total project cost stands at Tk28,793cr after three re-estimations. The authority has already spent Tk13,000cr on the project. The China Major Bridge Engineering (CMBE) Co. Ltd is constructing the main Padma Bridge since December 2014, following a work order of the Bridge Division on November 26, 2014, at a cost of Tk12,133.39. Sinohydro Corporation Ltd China is doing the river training work at a cost of Tk8,707.81cr.
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