The Dhaka elevated expressway project, designed to ease traffic gridlock in the city, is set to linger for at least 3.5 more years with cost hike as a new link is being added to the project.
The new link will start from Moghbazar rail crossing and end at Plassey intersection after travelling through Sonargaon hotel-Hatirpool-Katabon-Dhaka University areas.Bangladesh Bridge Authority (BBA) has placed a second revision proposal for support to ‘Dhaka Elevated Expressway PPP Project,’ seeking time extension and cost hike, planning commission sources said.
“The project duration is being extended and the cost is slightly rising as a new link from Moghbazar rail crossing-Sonargaon hotel-Hatirpool-Katabon-Dhaka University-Plassey intersection will be added to it,” said Kazi Fakhrul Alam, assistant engineer of the project.
Once the proposal is approved by Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (Ecnec), project time will be extended up to June 2024, while the cost will go up by Tk 280 million to Tk 49.18 billion.
The 19.73km four-lane elevated expressway starts from the airport, Kuril, Mohakhali, Tejgaon, Moghbazar to Kamalapur and Kutubkhali on Dhaka-Chattogram highway.
Besides, it will have 31 ramps totalling 27km for facilitating entry and exit from the expressway.
The main project was approved to be implemented from July 2011 to December 2014 period at a cost of Tk 32.17 billion. Later, the duration was extended up to December 2016 without increasing cost.The project’s first revision was done because of an increase in project components and cost hike. After if, project cost rose to Tk 48.89 billion with extended time to December 2020.
The project is being implemented in three tranches—tranche-1 from Airport to Banani rail station; tranche-2 from Banani rail station to Moghbazar; and tranche-3 from Moghbazar to Kutubkhali, Chattagram road.
The first phase has physically advanced 56 per cent as 1,340 piling work out of 1500 has so far been done, while 324 pile caps out of 350, 239 columns out of 350, 128 cross beams out of 350, and 224 I-girders out of 3,154 have been complete, according to project officials.
As part of preparatory work of tranche-2 and tranche-3, construction of work shed, mixing plant and labour shed has been complete. Soil investigation work is ongoing, but main construction work is yet to start.
The length of the first phase from the Hazrat Shahjalal Airport to Banani is 7.45km. Pile caps in the route have already been installed and now I-girders are being installed for mounting slabs.
The government is trying to move the project work faster, but project officials said they had to face delay because of land acquisition related problems.
Once in operation, the expressway is expected to contribute to hassle-free road connectivity from the southern areas to north areas, remarkably cutting traffic congestion, travel time and cost and maintenance cost of vehicles.
Some 80,000 vehicles are expected to use the expressway daily. The whole expressway will have a total of 11 toll plazas, including five on the expressway.