Construction of Padma multipurpose bridge gained new momentum after installation of the first roadway slab for vehicular movement on Tuesday.
Local and foreign engineers successfully installed a roadway slab on the 7F span between 41st and 42nd piers at Jajira point, project officials informed.With the installation of the two-metre wide and 22-metre long 7F-U33 slab, the work of constructing a four-lane road on the 6.15km under-construction bridge started.
It was first move to install roadway slab although the installation of railway slab started from September last year.
The engineers of China Major Bridge Engineering Company (MBEC), the contractor of the bridge, and local engineers managed to install the slab in the morning without any hassle.
Project officials informed that full-fledged work of roadway slab installation would start from Wednesday.
“These slabs are actually pre-cast slabs which will now go through a tensioning process. Those will be fixed after reaching the highest tension level of the rod so that they don’t move in future,” said a project engineer.
The roadway slabs will be ready to use for vehicles after completion of a few more steps, he also informed.Some 74 such slabs will be laid at the upper deck of a 150-metre long span.
A total of 2,931 such slabs will be installed on the bridge. So far, 500 roadway slabs are ready to be installed at Kumarvogh construction yard at Mawa point, the bridges authority officials informed.
Meanwhile, 192 railway slabs out of 2959 have already been installed on the lower deck of the installed spans. A total of 1,520 railway slabs are now ready.
So far, eight 150-metre spans have been set up, seven at Jajira points at a stretch and one separately at Mawa point, making 1.2km of the bridge visible.
Within two or three days the ninth span is expected to be installed at Jajira point, which will make 1,350 metres of the bridge visible.
A total of 41 spans will sit on 42 piers of the bridge. Still, 33 spans will have to be installed. Tk 33,000 crore is being spent for the bridge construction.
The bridge construction started from December 2015 and was supposed to be complete by last December, but work faced a severe setback after soft soil level was found under some pier-points.
Recently, foreign consultants and local experts have resolved the problem and handed over new designs of the piers to the contractor, removing hurdles to the construction work.
Now, project officials expect to open the bridge to the public at the end of next year.