The 6.15km bridge will become fully visible in December
With 34th span of the Padma Bridge installed on Sunday, the 5.1 kilometres stretch of the main structure of Bangladesh's double-decker dream bridge is visible now.
All 41 spans of the bridge are set to be installed by the end of December this year, finally making the 6.15km bridge visible. The 35th span is scheduled to be installed on October 30, four more spans are to be installed in November and the remaining two in December.
The government plans to open the long-awaited Padma Multipurpose Bridge for traffic in 2022, pushing the deadline back once again as the coronavirus pandemic and unprecedented flooding this year interrupted the progress of the mega project.
Bridge Division Secretary Mohammad Belayet Hossain told Dhaka Tribune the deadline of the fast-tracked project is officially still June 2021, but this will be changed as it is not possible to complete the remaining work by this time.
He added the contract with consultant firm Korean Expressway Corporation and Association was extended to June 2023 when it was set to expire in August this year.
According to the Bridge Division, the bridge is expected to boost the country's gross domestic product (GDP) by 1.2% once it opens for traffic. The government has already extended the deadline three times and the cost has risen to over three times what it was originally estimated at in 2007.
The bridge was estimated to cost Tk10,161 crore in 2007, and it is now set to cost Tk30,193 crore.
Bridge to become visible in December
The 34th span of the Padma Bridge was installed on Sunday, making 5.1km of the giant structure visible.
The span (2A) was installed on pillars no 7 and 8 at Mawa point, six days after the previous one was installed, Executive Engineer (Bridge) and Project Manager Dewan Md Abdul Kader told Dhaka Tribune.
Earlier around 4:15am on Saturday, the world's largest floating crane, Tian-e, carried the span from a construction yard in Mawa, at Louhajang upazila of Munshiganj.
After about 30 minutes, the crane with the capacity to lift 3,600 tons reached the pillars, was anchored and lifted the span. The span was placed on Sunday due to delays caused by inclement weather.
Bridge Division Secretary Mohammad Belayet Hossain said: “The 35th span is to be installed on October 30, four more spans will be installed in November and remaining two in December. Once all the spans are placed, the 6.15km long bridge will be visible.”
According to the Bridge Division, over 81% of the bridge construction has been completed, so far. As of September 30, TK23,796.24 crore has been spent on the bridge.
Sinohydro Corporation of China has been given the work for two out of the five major components of the project, including river training work, while China Major Bridge Engineering Construction Company was awarded the contract for constructing the main bridge.