The construction is scheduled to finish in four years
The government is all set to transform a two-lane highway into a four-lane expressway within the next four years, that will allow travellers and goods laden vehicles between Rangpur and Sylhet-Chittagong route to avoid hectic Dhaka traffic.
The new road will bypass Dhaka through Gazipur and Narayanganj.
Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader will inaugurate the construction work of Dhaka Bypass project today at Kanchan near Purbachal, confirmed Abu Naser, senior public relation officer of the ministry.
Dhaka Bypass — a part of Asian Highways which is also known as the Great Asian Highway — is a cooperative project among countries in Asia and Europe and the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific, aimed to improve the highway systems in Asia.
Agreements have been signed by 32 countries to allow the highway to cross the continent and reach Europe.
Some of the countries taking part in the highway project are India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, China, Iran, Japan and South Korea. Most of the funding will come from Japan, India, Nepal, Taiwan, South Korea and China, as well as international agencies such as Asian Development Bank, according to the agreement.
Acting as an alternative route for commuters, the expressway is known as Dhaka Bypass will not only save travel time, but also help reduce vehicle operating cost on the National Highway (N105).
“The project will be completed in the next four years,” said Sabuz Uddin Khan, director of Support to Joydevpur-Debogram-Bhulta-Madanpur Road (Dhaka Bypass) PPP Project.
The expressway will stretch between Joydevpur-Debogram-Bhulta-Madanpur.
Once built, it will be the second-largest expressway after the Dhaka-Mawa expressway. No slow-moving vehicles will be allowed on it.
The 48-kilometre expressway will allow vehicles to drive at a speed of 120kmph speed, which means the vehicles will not take more than 40 minutes to travel from Narayanganj’s Madonpur to Gazipur’s Kodda.
The commercial road will have service lanes on both sides for vehicles operating without paying tolls. These lanes will make the road communication easier between Dhaka, Gazipur and Narayanganj cities, through Purbachal Residential Area.
The existing road between Kodda and Madonpur faces huge traffic congestion as truc and covered vans are not allowed to ply through Dhaka city during the daytime.
On January 4 this year, Chinese consortium Sichuan Road and Bridge Group, Shamim Enterprise Ltd, and UDC Construction Limited had signed a concession contract with Bangladesh government to upgrade the road under a public-private partnership (PPP) agreement.
The consortium will design, build, finance, operate, and maintain the tolled expressway over a 25-year concession period, and will be able to charge tolls based on vehicle types.
The total cost of the project is Tk3,500 crore, with the government offering viability gap funding of Tk310 crore and a minimum revenue guarantee to the consortium to optimize the cost of financing.
The contract also provides the government with a share of revenues generated by the consortium over a certain threshold.
According to the detailed project plan, five flyovers will be built under the project at Bhogra, Mirerebazar, Bastul, Dhirashram, and Kanchan points of the bypass road to avoid railway crossings and intersections.
Three four-lane bridges will also be constructed over the Shitalakshya River at Kanchan, Ulokhola and Nagda, according to the plan.