- The construction of 15 bridges can take 8,000 Tk
- Work for these can start in 2 or 3 years
- 35 other bridges will be implemented in later phases
- Bridges will replace ferry travel
To improve connectivity and reduce travel time and costs, the government has planned to build around 50 major bridges as part of the Department of Roads and Highways (RHD) network.
For the first phase, fifteen bridges were selected for construction. The process of conducting feasibility studies for them has already started, officials said.
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The cost of building the bridges and starting the physical works of the project depend on the feasibility studies and management of funds, RHD sources said.
RHD officials also said building the 15 bridges could require up to Tk 8,000 crore, with work starting in two or three years, if funds are managed on time.
Construction of the remaining 35 bridges will take place in the next phases, officials said.
Currently, RHD’s network includes 22,428 kilometers of roads, 4,297 bridges and 15,048 culverts across the country.
There is no specific definition for major bridges, but those longer than 500 meters are generally considered major bridges.
Shishir Kanti Routh, Additional Chief Engineer (Bridge Management Wing) at RHD, said bridges will help replace ferry travel, which can ultimately reduce travel time and costs and ensure network reliability. In addition, the bridges will be built to strengthen the capacity of existing bridges like the Sultana Kamal Bridge in Dhaka.
Initially, RHD selected 54 bridges to be built across the country. He later chose 15 to implement as a first step.
The 15 bridges selected are the second Sultana Kamal Bridge over the Shitalakhshya River in Dhaka; Chandraghona Bridge over the Karnaphuli River in Chattogram; Arua Bridge over the Atai River in Khulna; Khuruskul Bridge over the Bakkhali River in Cox’s Bazar; Mirganj Bridge over the Arial Khan River in Barishal; Laxmipasha Bridge over the Porar Dhan River in Barishal; Banaripara Bridge over the Sandhya River at Barishal; Mahadev Bridge over the Mahadev River in Mymensingh; Ganeshwari Bridge over the Ganeshwari River in Mymensingh; Someshwari Bridge-2 and 3 over the Someshwari River at Mymensingh; Nitai Bridge over the Nitai River in Mymensingh; and three bridges over the Brahmaputra at Mymensingh.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina officially opened in June 2010 the Sultana Kamal Bridge in Demra, the capital. However, as the two-lane bridge does not meet demands, the decision to build another bridge next to it has been made, RHD sources said.
RHD’s Shishir Kanti Routh said they have already started the tendering process to appoint consultants to carry out the feasibility study, concept and detailed design.
They hope the feasibility study can be launched early next year, and it could take up to 18 months. Then the physical labor would begin, he added.
Between 2009 and 2018, RHD built or rebuilt 914 bridges and 3,977 culverts, according to official documents.