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The Financial Express

Strong current halts span installation work of Padma Bridge

| Updated: July 31, 2020 20:22:09


Strong current halts span installation work of Padma Bridge

Swelling river and strong current in the River Padma have stopped span installation work of Padma Bridge for an indefinite period, sources said.

Since the last span was installed on June 10, they said, the mighty river continued to swell, making it difficult for them to place cranes and other equipment into the river for carrying out the rest of span installation work.

So far 31 spans out of total 41 have been installed in the country's longest bridge, making 4.5 kilometres out of 6.15km visible.

Official sources, however, said other works of the project continued amid inclement weather as the Chinese contractor has completed all underwater or substructure work three months before.

They said now work of superstructure continues to place road slab and rail track.

According to project information, the river swelled to seven-metre high from its one-metre level after monsoon onset. The current level is also recorded at 3.5 metres per second against 0.2 metres per second of normal level.

As the situation may deteriorate, the project officials have planned to stop the span installation work until September.

The Padma Multipurpose Bridge Project earlier set the target to complete span installation work by June and open the country's dream bridge by June next year.

Due to the spread of coronavirus that hit China first in December, the project work faced a blow in absence of Chinese engineers and technicians who went to their home country to celebrate New Year but could not return following the lockdown.

After the project was hit by the coronavirus in Bangladesh, local labourers left the project site being panicked to work with Chinese nationals.

After missing the target of span completion work by June, the project office already revised its plan to complete the work by December.

Under the plan, a project site official said, span installation work was shown stopped for three months from July because it was known from past experience that both river water and current increases during this time.

Bridge Division Secretary Belayet Hossain said after resumption of the installation work in October, three spans will be installed every month to complete the work by December.

smunima@yahoo.com

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