Some 2,877 of the 2,917 roadway slabs have already been installed and the rest are scheduled to be placed by the end of July or the beginning of September
Construction vehicles used in the Padma Multipurpose Bridge Project (PMBP) will be able to travel the bridge’s full length without any interruption from September this year.
This will be made possible as workers are ever so close to completing the installation of the altogether 2,917 roadway slabs needed for the country’s dream construction project.
Some 2,877 of all the roadway slabs have been installed so far and the rest are scheduled to be placed by the end of this month or the beginning of September.
Meanwhile, installation of railings, street lights, and bitumen molding on top of the road slabs is expected to be finished by January-February, 2022, project officials told Dhaka Tribune.
The rest of the work, such as road surface marking and putting up traffic signs, is expected to be completed between March and May 2022, as the government plans to open the Padma Bridge for public use in June, Bangladesh Bridge Authority Chief Engineer Quazi Mohammad Ferdous told Dhaka Tribune.
“Once all the slabs are installed, all forms of vehicles will be able to easily travel the whole length of the bridge. Besides, all the railway slabs – in total 2,959 – have already been installed,” Ferdous added.
Paving the roadway slabs with asphalt had started this July but due to heavy monsoon rains, the project authorities were forced to postpone the work.
Dewan Abdul Kader, executive engineer of the mega project, said: “We had paved at least 60 metres of the bridge with asphalt last month. “However, due to the monsoon season, we had to stop. We are hopeful of resuming carpeting work from November-December.”
According to project documents, as of July 2021, the progress of construction work of the main bridge stands at 93.5% while that of river training work stands at 83.5%.
Some 24,000 vehicles to cross Padma Bridge every day
In 2009, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) conducted a study on how many vehicles would cross the Padma Bridge annually.
The findings stated that if the bridge was inaugurated at the start of 2022, then in that year, on average, around 24,000 vehicles would cross the bridge every day.
Of those vehicles, 8,238 are predicted to be buses, 10,244 trucks, and 5,000 microbuses and cars.
As per ADB findings, by 2025, the number of vehicles crossing the bridge will be 27,800 per day.
By 2030 the number will go up to 36,785 and in 2040, the number of vehicles crossing the bridge daily will stand at 51,807.
Around 67,000 vehicles on average could cross the bridge every day of 2050.
The Bridges Division had earlier re-fixed the target for opening the bridge to traffic in December 2021, to mark the golden jubilee of Bangladesh’s independence.
But the plans hit a snag following the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic in March last year.
The PMBP has missed deadlines three times – 2014, 2018, and 2019.
The project has involved costs to the tune of Tk301.19 billion.
The Padma Bridge is expected to boost the country's GDP by 1.2% once it is opened to the public.