The Padma Multipurpose Bridge, one of the largest infrastructure projects in Bangladesh, is now more than halfway towards its completion.
Bangladesh is building the bridge with its own fund through the contractor, China's Major Bridge Engineering Company Ltd, after leaving the World Bank out of the project following complexities over corruption allegation
The construction of all approach roads on both sides of the bridge has been completed, while other components are also falling into place steadily.
“The overall progress of Padma Bridge was 56% until June 2018,” said Project Director Md Shafiqul Islam. “We are working hard to open the bridge to the commuters within a short time with assuring quality.”
Once complete it will change the economic landscape of southwestern Bangladesh if its opening is matched with improvements to energy security and other infrastructure.
The government expects the megastructure will boost the GDP by 1.2%.
According to Bangladesh Bridge Authority (BBA) officials, after the installation of five spans, 750 metres of the bridge have become visible.
The first span of the Padma Bridge was installed at the Janjira point of Shariatpur on October 7, 2017. This was followed by the installation of the second span on January 28. The third span was installed on March 11. The fourth and fifth spans of the bridge were installed on May 13 and June 29 respectively.
The 6.15-km bridge will have a total of 41 spans, each 150 meters long.
According to the engineers concerned, a total of 41 spans will be installed on 42 pillars.
“The spans are being installed one after another to open the bridge for commuters,” Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader said during an inspection of the Dhaka-Bhanga expressway on June 29.
“Implementation of a mega project like Padma Multipurpose Bridge with our own funds has definitely upheld our image globally,” Finance Minister AMA Muhith said.
The construction work of the country's largest bridge began on December 12, 2015 and will hopefully be completed by the end of this year.
Along with Bangladeshis, Chinese, American, British, Indian, and Japanese nationals are working round the clock on the project.
The Padma Bridge will not only ease communication between Dhaka and the southern part of the country but also change the economic landscape.