Recent erosion, strong current to delay Padma bridge construction

Shahin Akhter | Published: 00:26, Aug 11,2020


The recent erosion and strong current of the River Padma are to delay the construction of Padma Multipurpose Bridge, said officials.

Bridges Division secretary Md Belayet Hossain told New Age on Monday that currently the project officials were working to estimate the extra time needed to complete the project.

He also said that the erosion did not damage the main infrastructure of the under construction bridge.

The construction work of 6.15 kilometre main bridge across the river Padma between Louhajong, Munshiganj and Shariatpur and Madaripur is scheduled to be completed by June 30, 2021.

Till July the actual progress of the works of the main bridge is 89.25 per cent.

Earlier on July 31, the collapse of southeast bank of Mawa damaged the construction yard of the project and washed away roadway slabs, railway stringers, temporary roads, camps, storage foundations, beams, steel structures, bolts, warehouse laboratories, cranes and the generator.

According to the project office, 125 pieces of main bridge roadway slabs were lost which need to be fabricated again and this work is expected to cause about six-month delay to the construction period.

Total 48 groups of railway stringers, each group has four stringers weighing 1,314.4 tonnes, UB beams of 1,185 tonnes weight, 2,000 pieces of small UB beam of maintenance gantry weighing 585 tonnes, connection components of railway stringers of 129.4 tonnes and 15,360 sets of high strength bolts, one set of 30-tonne gantry crane and 190-metre gantry crane track foundation were lost in the erosion.

About 179 cubic metre of storage foundation of roadway slabs, 557 cubic metre of storage foundation of railway stringer and 3,048 cubic metre temporary roads in the storage yard were also lost.

Ninety per cent of what used to be the camp of Sinohydro had collapsed and the remaining houses were in a volatile condition and are not usable.

Also, one set of 500KW generator and one supplementary generator room and some warehouse laboratories were lost to the erosion.

Meanwhile till now out of 41 spans, 31 were already installed and the rest were scheduled to be installed by July this year.

Following the strong current in the river the work of installation of span remains suspended.

Bridges Division secretary Md Belayet Hossain told New Age that the main alignment and river training works of the Padma Bridge have no relation with this recent erosion.

The erosion took place at Mawa point where around 300-metre area of the construction yard got washed away, he said.

‘The work of constructing roadway slabs also starts today as these can be built locally, he said and added that it usually takes three months for queuing the roadway slabs.

‘Earlier we had set target to install the roadway slabs by June and July next year,’ he said, adding, ‘It will take some more time due to erosion.’

The secretary said that the project officials are working to make a proposal on new the timeline for the construction. 

‘The main bridge will not face any problem,’ he said, adding that they would engage experts who would ensure river training and bank protection in the bridge area in future during situations like this.

‘The spans cannot be set up this month, but we hope the work of installation of spans will resume in the next month,’ Md Belayet said.

It is possible to recover the railway stringers which were made of steel and the contractors are conducting a survey for locating these with metal detectors, he continued.

‘The recovery of the lost components is uncertain. If we can’t recover the railway stringers we will import these from Luxemburg,’ he said and added that they had already got positive response from Luxemburg after an initial approach.

They kept both options open, he said.

The overall progress of the project till July is 81 per cent with 74 per cent actual progress of river training works and 100 per cent actual progress of connecting roads and service areas.

The total project cost is Tk 30,193.39 crore while till July, 77.57 per cent of the total amount, or Tk 23,423.67 crore was spent.

The actual financial progress of main bridge is 86.7 per cent and of river training work is 59.8 per cent.

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