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41 shaky bailey bridges turn into death traps in Jhalakathi

  • Published at 05:27 pm January 26th, 2021
Vehicles continue to use the badly damaged bridge on Barisal-Khulna Highway in Jhalakathi
Vehicles continue to use the badly damaged bridge on Barisal-Khulna Highway in Jhalakathi amid risk of a fatal accident anytime Dhaka Tribune

The bailey bridge on the Barisal-Khulna Highway in Basonda area of Jhalakathi has turned into a death trap

All the 41 Bailey bridges on roads and highways in Jhalakathi are now in dilapidated condition, posing risk for a large number of vehicles including passenger buses, goods-laden trucks, and light vehicles.

Taking life risks, thousands of people and hundreds of vehicles are using these bridges every day. Accidents are occurring very often. To avert further accidents, it is necessary to build permanent bridges and expand the highway.

The bailey bridge on the Barisal-Khulna Highway in Basonda area of Jhalakathi has turned into a death trap.

The 41 bridges in several areas of the district including two in Beshaikhna, the bridge of Bagripara in Rajapur and the Noikathi Bridge, lie in dilapidated condition.

The people of the areas have demanded construction of permanent bridges at the spots and widening of the road.

A number of passenger buses and goods-laden trucks from southern districts use the road to go to different districts while several hundred CNG-run auto-rickshaws use the road daily for local communications.

Movement of a large number of vehicles turned the old bailey bridges risky and the RHD has set cautionary signs on both ends of the bridges.

The steel-made decks of the bailey bridges have decayed and light vehicles like motorcycles often slip there, locals said.

The bridges shake when any heavy vehicle moves on, they said.

The bailey bridge on the Barisal-Khulna Highway was repaired after a goods-laden truck got stuck on it due to displacement of steel plate on the deck recently.

A bailey bridge is a type of temporary bridge constructed with truss steel for quick assembly.

The Roads and Highways Department has identified the bridges as dangerous and risky.

The bridges in different upazilas are more vulnerable than those in the district town.

If the bridges are not built afresh, fatal accidents may occur any time, snapping road communications in the district.

Sub-Divisional Engineer Md Humayun Kabir of RHD in Jhalakathi said a proposal to construct permanent bridges to replace the bailey bridges and widen the road was sent to the higher authorities and the work can be started after approval of the proposal.