A portion of the Second Teesta Road Bridge connecting the northern districts of Lalmonirhaat and Rangpur collapsed two days before Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina was scheduled to inaugurate it.
The approach road of the bridge which is located over a conduit in Rangpur’s Shankardaha area collapsed on Friday (Sept 14) morning.
Lalmonirhat Local Government Engineering Department (LGED) officials, who oversaw the construction of the bridge, claim that the link road collapsed due to strong currents of the Teesta River triggered by rising waters.
LGED Engineer Parvez Newaj Khan said “We are trying to trying our best to control the damage and protect the bridge by using geo bags.”
The sudden collapse of the northern part of the bridge snapped communication between Rangpur and Lalmonirhat.
Rangpur’s Gangachara Upazila and Kolkand Union have been flooded leaving 10,000 families with boats as the only means of transportation.
LGED Executive Engineer SM Zakiur Rahman said, “A dam in Kolkand union’s Binbina area that was voluntarily built by the locals collapsed during last year’s flood. It looks like it won’t be possible to protect the bridge until the dam is rebuilt.”
The construction of the much-awaited bridge was scheduled for completion on June 31, 2014.
However, the girders collapsed twice before during construction and after the contractor Navana Constructions extended the deadline for a third time, the construction was finally completed on December 31, 2017.
The bridge was opened to traffic on the prime minister’s orders before its formal inauguration.
She was scheduled to inaugurate the bridge on Sunday (Sept 16) through a video conference.
LGED officials are hopeful that the inauguration will take place as per schedule as the main bridge is undamaged.
They have assured that traffic will resume on the Bridge as soon the approach road is fixed.