The final parts of the much-awaited Moghbazar-Mouchak Flyover will finally be opened to traffic simultaneously on Thursday.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is scheduled to open the Kakrail-Malibagh, Rajarbagh-Mouchak, Rampura-Mouchak and Mouchak-Eskaton portions of the flyover through a videoconference at 12noon on Thursday, project director (PD) Susant Kumar Pal informed on Saturday.
He said the necessary construction work on the flyover completed last month. “The Prime Minister has given us schedule to open it on October 26.”
Once the Prime Minister inaugurates it, he said, the entire 8.7-km overpass, including the three portions already in operation, will be opened to traffic.
The roads beneath the flyover that got seriously dilapidated have already been renovated, bringing an end to the immense sufferings the commuters and residents of the areas have been going through for nearly four years.
The country’s longest flyover drew criticism for repeatedly raising its project cost, deferring its implementation deadline and faulty designs.
Though the overpass has been built for unhindered vehicle movement, traffic signal lights have been installed at the Mouchak and Malibagh intersection of the flyover due to its faulty design.
Meanwhile, a passerby, Swapan of Kishoreganj’s Pakundia upazila, was killed and two others injured a concrete girder of the flyover collapsed on Malibagh level-crossing on March 13 this year.
Aiming to ease traffic in one of the city's busiest areas, the construction work on the integrated Moghbazar-Mouchak Flyover Project began in January 2013 with a deadline to complete it by June 2015.
On January 19 2016, the project timeframe has been extended by another 18 months till June 2017 as its length has been extended through redesigning of its structure to make it more usable for easing traffic jam in the capital. But, the construction farm also missed the deadline, annoying the commuters further.
Paul said three portions of the flyover--Holy Family Hospital to Tejgaon, Eskaton to Moghbazar Wireless Gate and Hatirjheel to Sonargaon intersection--have already been opened to traffic, reducing traffic jams at those points.
On March 30 last year, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina inaugurated the first part, stretching over two kilometres from Holy Family Hospital to Saatrasta intersection.
Local Government Minister Khandker Mosharraf Hossain inaugurated the one-km portion, Eskaton to Moghbazar Wireless Gate, on September 15, 2016 and the 450-meter long part, Hatirjheel to Sonargaon intersection, on May 17 this year.
Paul said the rest of the nearly 5.5-km flyover will be opened to traffic on Thursday. Once the entire flyover is opened to traffic, vehicles can go over eight road intersections and three level-crossings at Karwan Bazar, Moghbazar and Malibagh, substantially improving the city tariff.
He said a total of Tk 1,218 crore has been spent on the construction of the country's longest flyover.
The Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (Ecnec) first approved the project on March 8, 2011 involving Tk 772.70 crore. The expenditure of the project was increased on different occasions later.
The construction work on the project, which is jointly financed by Saudi Development Fund, OPEC Fund for International Development and the Bangladesh government, started in 2013 instead of the original schedule of 2011.