The construction of main bridge and river training of the 6.15-kilometre-long two-tier Padma Multipurpose Bridge will begin formally on December 12.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is scheduled to inaugurate the main bridge construction and river training works on the day, Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader told BSS on Wednesday.
He said the government is expected to complete the much talked about Padma Bridge between Mawa of Munshiganj and Jajira of Shariatpur by 2018.
The construction of the Padma Bridge is now going on in full swing due to bold and dynamic leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, he said.
The minister said the two-tier Padma Bridge having provisions for movements of vehicles on the upper tier of the bridge and operation of trains on the lower tier would be built with concrete and steel structure.
After completion of the bridge, designed to carry a highway and rail line, will connect 19 southern districts with the capital and around 43 percent construction work of approach roads between Jajira and Mawa sides has already been completed, Quader said.
"All preparations have been made to start piling and river training works of the main bridge and side by side other related works are being readied. The project work is now progressing as per expectations," he said.
Padma Bridge Project Director M Shafiqul Islam said the main construction work of the Padma Bridge includes piling and river training.
According to a ministry source, the design and land reclamation to construct a 160-km railway on both sides of the Padma from Dhaka to Jessore are also being carried out.
The China Major Bridge Engineering Corporation (MBEC), which was appointed for the main bridge, will carry out the work. The soil testing and dredging works have been going on for the last four months for the river training.
The bridge will have a total of 42 pillars. Each will have six piles beneath. Steel spans will be placed on the pillars. The bridge will have a total of 41 spans.
Around 25 percent work of the bridge has so far been completed and the work of the main piling of the bridge has been delayed due to river erosion. Work on the Padma Bridge is broadly divided into five parts -- the main bridge, river training, two link roads and infrastructure (service area) construction.
China's Sinohydro Corporation was appointed for the river training works while Bangladesh's Abdul Monem Limited was given the contract for the two link roads and infrastructure construction.