The construction of Padma multipurpose bridge advanced further on Tuesday with installation of 11th span that makes one fourth of the bridge visible.
The 150-metre-long span was installed on piers no. 33 and 34 at Jajira point around 9am after it was carried from Kumarvogh workshop.With the 11th span installed, a total of 1,650 metres of the 6.15km under-construction bridge became visible, including nine spans at Jajira point and two at Mawa point.
The project was first visible when the first span was installed on 37th and 38th piers on September 30, 2017.
It was for the first time that two spans were installed in a month, adding new momentum to the project work.
The 10th span was installed on April 10 at Mawa point this year.
The bridge will have 41 such spans that will be installed on 42 piers. So far, the main bridge construction has seen 75 percent progress, project officials said.
From now on, they hope to install two spans every month and complete installing all the spans by this year.“Two spans have been installed in April and another two will be installed next month. We hope to install all the spans by this year,” said an upbeat project engineer.
According to the project authorities, the piling of 247 piles has been complete and half work of 15 out of 47 remaining piles has already been done.
Of the 42 piers, construction of 22 has ended and work for another 10 piers is expected to end by next June which will accelerate the project work because installing two spans in a month will be possible from then.
The project missed the December 2018 completion deadline because of problematic soil condition beneath 14 piers. Engineers had to leave Mawa site until the problem was solved.
The soft soil on the river bed created problems in hammering in the 14 pillars and so a change in design was required.
Foreign consultants were appointed for solving the problems.
After holding repeated meetings, the engineers finally decided to bring about changes to the designs for piling of 22 pillars.
The depth and length of the piles are being determined in consideration of possible earthquakes, the pressure of trains and vehicles running loaded on the bridge, the wind factor and movement of vessels.
The number of piling now increased from previously planned 240 to 262.
Besides installing spans, work to lay rail and road slabs is going on in the both upper and lower decks of the installed double-deck spans.
So far, four of 2,931 six-lane road slabs were installed at the upper deck while 350 road slabs are ready. Also, 272 rail slabs out of 2,959 have been installed at the lower deck.
The construction of Padma bridge is now being expected to be complete by the end of next year.
Earlier, the nearly Tk33,000 crore project faced a major setback after finance-related tussle with the World Bank which raised graft allegations against a minister and some government officials.