The Padma Bridge authority on Saturday said construction work of the country's largest infrastructure is progressing satisfactorily and that it'll be completed within stipulated time by the end of 2018.
Director of the Padma Multi-Purpose Bridge Project (PMBP) Md Shafiqul Islam told The Daily Observer "?with 26 per cent physical and 40 per cent financial progress achieved by now, we already have started the construction work of the main bridge in the mid river."
After visiting the construction site, this correspondent found that the 18.10 meter wide and 21.29 kilometres long bridge including 6.15 kilometers main bridge, 12 kilometers approach road, 3.14 km viaduct and 14 km river training is being constructed at the Mawa-Janjira Ferry Ghat costing a total of Tk 28,000 crore.
The Project Director also said the projected duration for completion of the mega project is from December 2014 to December 2018 and that they have already made significant progress in approach road (52 per cent) and in land acquisition (99 per cent).
The Daily Observer correspondent on his spot visit also found two Chinese companies - Major Bridge Engineering Corporation (MBEC) responsible for constructing the main bridge and the Sino Hydro for river training - are working twenty four hours a day to expedite tempo of the project work.
The bridge that would connect Dhaka with 21 South-West districts is being fully financed by the Bangladesh government from its own fund.
According to structure plan, the bridge would stand on 365 piles including two viaducts, 240 steel piles, 24 broad piles, 42 piers and the number of its spans would be 42.
After massive soil tests and tests on service piles the main challenging constructability work is supposed to be started in December this year, a project engineer said.
He, referring the MBEC, said the Chinese company has already started the super structure portion works in their country and once the sub structure works are completed they will carry the super parts from their country to Bangladesh.
The super structures are building two level trusses for both rail and motor vehicles over the piles.
As resettlement program, the government has already constructed houses for the former land owners in the project area and they have been allowed to live in the government constructed resettlement housing project for 99 years.
Md Sohrab, a vegetable grower who lives in the settlement area, said the government has given him money for the land he has given away and has also got a plot to live in the resettlement area for 99 years.
He said he is yet to get the ownership papers and the government said they will give ownership documents after three years at the completion year of the bridge.
Abdul Monem Limited, a local construction firm in joint venture with a Malaysian company, has bagged the job for constructing approach roads in both side of the bridge.