Local people, especially businessmen, have demanded immediate renovation of the damaged Postogola Bridge in the capital to facilitate smooth traffic and economic activities.
The First Bangladesh-China Friendship Bridge (Buriganga-1), known as Postogola Bridge, has been damaged as a powerful ship smashed the structure while going to salvage a sunken launch in the Buriganga river on Monday.The damaged bridge badly hampered movement of goods-laden vehicles, bringing an end to trade and commerce between Dhaka and Barishal-Khulna region.
Babubazar Bridge, an alternative to Postogola Bridge, is also dilapidated and unable to take load of the goods-laden vehicles, sources said.
Until the bridge is completely repaired, people will suffer from gridlock, trade and commerce, businessmen said.
The affected people said businessmen rely on Postogola Bridge for the carriage of raw materials and other products on various important routes in the country.
Traffic on Postogola Bridge was suspended for an indefinite period following the damage to the bridge.
On Tuesday evening, the authorities concerned opened two lanes of the four-lane bridge as girders, which have badly been damaged, are the main components of a bridge’s stability.However, traffic on another two lanes was suspended after initiative was taken to manage traffic.
A seven-member expert team, led by Roads and Highways Department (RHD) (Dhaka zone) Additional Chief Engineer Md Sabuj Uddin Khan, inspected the bridge on Tuesday morning to assess the exact damage to the bridge. Sabuj said they already received a report and had a meeting in this regard.
“We’ve decided to suspend vehicular movement on two lanes of the bridge as the structure has become vulnerable now,” he added.
The extent of internal damage to the bridge could not be assessed immediately for an equipment shortage, he said, adding that the assessment will take place today.
After visiting the bridge, the expert team said Postogola Bridge was damaged due to the negligence of the master and those in charge of the rescue ship. They said another expert team will be formed to make a right decision on the bridge’s renovation. The second inspection team will inspect the bridge and make a final decision on the renovation. Until then, movement of all types of vehicles on the bridge will remain suspended. The Roads and Highways Department suspended movement of all vehicles on the bridge at 9:00pm on Monday. Vehicles on the route were asked to use the 2nd Buriganga Bridge at Babubazar as alternative. Earlier on Monday, Sabuj said the rescue ship hit one of the girders of Postogola Bridge.
“The damage is severe as a girder is an important part of a bridge,” he said. He also said pictures of the damaged girders have been sent to bridge builders and experts. Initially they said the girders need to be replaced.
On Monday, rescue ship Prottoy of Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority (BIWTA) was going to Sadarghat from Narayanganj to rescue the sunken launch.