Bangladesh Bridge Authority (BBA) and Korea Expressway Corporation (KEC) on Thursday signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) regarding toll collection, operation and maintenance of the Padma Multipurpose Bridge.
In presence of Road, Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader, BBA Director (Administration) Rezaul Haider and KEC Managing Director Shin Young Suk signed the MoU at Setu Bhaban in the capital. Following the MoU signing ceremony Obaidul Quader said, “As per the agreement, a technical team of KEC will visit Padma Bridge site. The team will place a proposal on possible maintenance, required manpower and other issues including toll collection.” When the technical proposal will be approved by the authority concerned, the two sides will sign a contract, he added.
The 6.15-kilometre Padma Bridge, a multipurpose road-rail bridge across the Padma River, is Bangladesh’s largest infrastructure project till date of which 83.50 percent of the bridge’s main work has already been completed while financial progress is 73.73 percent. The Bridge will connect Louhajong, Munshiganj to Shariatpur and Madaripur, linking the south-west of the country, to northern and eastern regions. Padma Bridge is the most challenging construction project in the history of Bangladesh.
About the construction progress, the minister informed that out of the 42 piers, the work of 31 piers has already been completed. The work on the rest 11 piers is now going on in full swing and aiming to complete by December this year. Some 15 spans have been installed at Mawa site and the work on the main structure of the Bridge will be completed within 2020. Around 2100 metres of the bridge is now visible as the 14th span (superstructure) of the 6.15-km bridge was installed at Jazira point in Shariatpur in June. A total of 41 spans will be installed on 42 concrete pillars to complete the bridge, the minister added.
Notable, 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 completion of the construction of the bridge at a cost of Taka 30,193.39 crore. The first span of the Padma Bridge was installed on 30 September 2017. The second span was installed four months later on January 28, 2018 while the third one was placed on March 11, after one and a half months.