It’s possible to walk across the Padma now

All 2,917 road slabs in place on Padma bridge
The Padma bridge project yesterday moved one step closer to completion after the authority finished the installation of all road slabs linking both sides of the Padma river through the roadway.
Now it is possible to cross the Padma river by walking across the 6.15 kilometre-long bridge.
The last road slab was installed on the span that linked the pillars 12 and 13 of the Padma bridge at 10:12 am yesterday, said project engineers.
The installation of road and rail slabs began more than two years and five months ago. In June, the rail slabs were laid and now all 2,917 road slabs are done.
“We have reached a new milestone. With this, we have moved one more step forward,” Project Director Shafiqul Islam told journalists at the project service area yesterday.
The long-cherished bridge, whose physical works started in November 2014, is expected to be open for the public in June next year.
Once in service, the double-decker bridge, which has a roadway on the upper side and rail line on the bottom, will connect the capital with 21 southwestern districts and is expected to boost Bangladesh’s gross domestic product by 1.2 percent.
So far, the Tk 30,193 crore project has witnessed 87.25 percent overall progress. The main bridge is 94.25 percent complete and river training works 84.25 percent, according to a press release from the road transport and bridges minister’s office yesterday.
However, some other works including constructing railing, carpeting of the road and installing lighting facilities are yet to be completed.
In October, once the rainy season is over, the placing of a 2-millimetre waterproof membrane and then carpeting would begin, said Dewan Md Abdul Quader, project manager (main bridge) of the Padma Multipurpose Bridge Project.
“We hope we will be able to complete all works before the deadline,” Quader told The Daily Star yesterday.
Meanwhile, the authorities have started the installation work of the gas pipeline on the low deck of the Padma Bridge at Jajira point in Shariatpur from August 19.
The exercise is likely to be completed within January next year, an engineer said.
One of the major features of the bridge would be a 169-km rail line connecting the capital with Jashore. That is being done under a separate Tk 39,246 crore project by the Bangladesh Railway.
The rail tracks are yet to be laid, and for that, the Bangladesh Bridge Authority (BBA), which is executing the Padma bridge project, has to hand over the structure to the BR.
No date has been set yet by the BBA for the handover, said Afzal Hossain, director of the Padma Bridge Rail Link Project (PBRLP).
“We have requested them [BBA] to hand over the bridge to us in December this year. But the date has not been finalised,” he told The Daily Star yesterday.
There is a meeting with the BBA and Padma bridge project authority next month.
“We hope to get a timing from the meeting. We hope they may hand over the bridge partially in December.”
Vehicles would still be able to operate through the roadway of the bridge if the works for the installation of rail tracks remain incomplete.
“However, it would create a disturbance for our work. So, we want to complete the works simultaneously,” he added.

Courtesy of The Daily Star

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