Business / Companies

Chinese engineering giant to design mega Padma bridge corridor

(Xinhua) Updated: 2016-08-09 09:41

DHAKA - The Bangladeshi government has relied on a Chinese engineering giant to carry out detailed engineering design for a four-lane expansion of a national highway which is assumed to be one of the major transport corridors linking capital Dhaka to its south and west as well as linking Bangladesh with its three neighbors.

Chinese firm Henan Provincial Communications Planning, Survey, and Design Institute (HPCPSDI) Company Limited, which since its establishment in 1964 had undertaken highway survey and design for over 10,000 km, including the Sections of Beijing-Hong Kong-Macau Expressway and Lianyungang-Huoerguosi Expressway in Henan province, Monday signed an agreement in this connection with the implementing agency of the Bangladeshi government's highway expansion project.

Special Works Organization of Bangladesh Army is the implementing agency of the Bangladesh government project which involves upgrading of 55 km of highway that connects the country's largest Padma bridge and lies to the southwest of capital Dhaka.

Officials said the upgrading will convert the existing two lane road to a four lane access controlled express way including the two service roads of the highway.

After construction of over $3 billion Padma bridge and its approaches, according to a project paper, it will be one of Bangladesh's major transport corridors linking capital Dhaka to the country's south and west as well as linking Bangladesh with India, Nepal and Bhutan.

The significance of the route will increase as a result of agreements signed under the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation or SAARC, it said.

The State-run Chinese company as a consultant will be responsible for the detailed designs of elevated inter changes and overpasses and under passes at important intersections in these road sections including culverts and all other relevant road structures.

In line with the agreement signed here on Monday, officials said the Chinese company will have to submit a detailed design by January next year.

In this connection, Colonel Iftekhar Anis, director of the highway expansion project, and Wang Shijie, vice-president of HPCPSDI, signed an agreement on behalf of their respective organizations here on Monday.

In December last year, Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina inaugurated the main works of the country's biggest Padma Bridge project by unveiling its foundation plaque.

Prior to the inauguration of the main bridge's construction works, she unveiled the plaque of the river training works, the second most costly component of the $3 billion project conducted by one of the largest international companies, Sinohydro Corporation Limited.

Hasina said the bridge will shorten travel time between capital Dhaka and the country's southern region, boosting entire trade and economic activities.

It would also help Bangladesh to be connected with the proposed Asian Highway and Trans-Asian Railway.

"Neighboring countries could use our seaports as the bridge will pave the way for better regional connectivity."

Experts say the bridge when it comes into operation in 2018 will ease pressure on the country's premier seaport in Chittagong, 242 km southeast of capital Dhaka, as it will bolster the second largest Mongla seaport in Bagerhat district, 178 km southwest of the capital city.

In June 2014, the Bangladeshi government awarded China Major Bridge Engineering Company Limited a $1.55 billion contract to build core structure of the Padma Bridge project which is to be completed in four years.

The 25-meter-wide and 10-km-long bridge will be built over Padma River, one of the three major rivers in Bangladesh.

About 6.15 km of the bridge is being built over the river while the remaining part on both banks.

Apart from connecting nearly 30 million people in Bangladesh's southwest region to the rest of the country, the bridge will enhance regional trade and collaboration along the Asian highway No. 1 and the Trans-Asian railway network.

The bridge is among the six projects that are under direct supervision of the Fast Track Project Monitoring Committee headed by Hasina.

Hot Topics

Editor's Picks