The 18th span of the Padma Multipurpose Bridge was installed on Wednesday at Mawa point making 2.7 kilometres visible out of total 6.15km of the main structure of the bridge, reports BSS.
“With the installation of ‘3-E’ span on the 17th and the 18th pillars at the Mawa point, the construction work of about 2700 meters (2.7 kilometres) of the main structure of this mega bridge has been completed,” said Engineer Humayun Kabir of the bridge project.
Earlier, the 3-E span was brought in front of the 17th and 18th pillars on Wednesday morning by a floating crane from construction yard-1 at Mawa point where the span was kept temporarily, he said.
After completion of all other works, the span was installed on the pillars at around 1.03 pm, he added.
On November 26, the 17th span of the bridge was installed on the 22nd and the 23rd pillars.
According to the officials, there is a plan to install three more spans, including ‘4-C’ and ‘3-F’, within this month as five spans remain ready in the construction yard for installation. A total of 17 spans out of 33, which have come from China, have been installed.
Along with the spans installation, construction work of roadway slabs and railway slabs is also progressing simultaneously, the officials said.
A total of 41 spans will be installed on 42 concrete pillars to complete the bridge.
According to the project details, the construction of the 6.15-kilometre long Padma Bridge is going on in full swing with the target to complete it as soon as possible.
On October 14, 2018, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina unveiled the name plaque of Padma Bridge Toll Plaza at the Mawa end.
According to experts, the national economy is expected to witness 1.2 percent GDP growth rate, while 0.84 percent poverty will be reduced every year after the completion of the bridge to be built with an estimated cost of Taka 30,193.39 crore. The first span of the Padma Bridge was installed on September 30, 2017.
At 6.15km (3.8 miles) in length, it will be a significant addition to Bangladesh’s infrastructure network, as well as an important part of its economic development strategy. It will also be a major milestone for Bangladesh’s Vision 2021 – which aims to transform the country into a middle-income nation by that year – and help achieve many other national objectives such as poverty alleviation and improved trade links with neighboring countries.
Do you want to know how much the Padma Bridge is costing?
The Padma Bridge project has been mired in controversy since its inception. It was initially planned with a budget of Tk 16.76 billion (Tk 1,676 crore). But now it's cost is nearly three times higher than that initial projection. This bridge will be one of the largest bridges in South Asia and Bangladesh’s most expensive public infrastructure project ever undertaken by the government.
Read More: Rail link with Padma Bridge completed
The construction work on the 6 km long bridge started on 26 December 2011 and scheduled for completion within 42 months at an estimated cost of Taka 15,193 crore (approximately $18 billion), but due to various reasons including corruption, it could not be completed even after seven years which led to increase in price up to 3 times more than original estimation.
The Padma Bridge project was supposed to cost Tk 55 billion. However, now it has been estimated that the total cost of the project will be around Tk 287.93 billion (Tk 28,793 crore)—nearly three times higher than the original projected cost. This means that every household in Bangladesh will have to pay an additional Tk 1,000 per year for 10 years just to cover this one bridge’s construction costs!