Padma Bridge

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Padma Bridge

পদ্মা বহুমূখী সেতু
Querschnitt Konstruktion Padma-Brücke.svg
Cross section of the Padma Bridge construction
Coordinates23°27′42″N 90°15′46″E / 23.4616°N 90.2628°E / 23.4616; 90.2628Coordinates: 23°27′42″N 90°15′46″E / 23.4616°N 90.2628°E / 23.4616; 90.2628
CarriesMotor vehicles, Railway
CrossesPadma River
LocaleLouhajong, Munshiganj to Shariatpur and Madaripur
Official nameThe Padma Multipurpose Bridge
Maintained byBangladesh Bridge Authority
DesignTruss bridge
Total length6.150 km (20,180 ft)
Width18.10 m (59.4 ft)
No. of spans41
No. of lanes4
Constructed byChina Major Bridge Engineering Company Limited
Construction start7 December 2014
Construction endDecember 2020 (projected) [1]
Construction cost301.933 billion (US$3.6 billion) [2]
OpeningJune, 2021

The Padma Bridge is a multipurpose road-rail bridge across the Padma River under construction in Bangladesh. It will connect Louhajong, Munshiganj to Shariatpur and Madaripur, linking the south-west of the country, to northern and eastern regions. Padma Bridge is the most challenging construction project in the history of Bangladesh. The two-level steel truss bridge will carry a four-lane highway on the upper level and a single track railway on a lower level.[3] With 150 m span, 6150 m total length and 18.10 m width it is going to be the largest bridge in the Padma-Brahmaputra-Meghna river basins of country in terms of both span and the total length.[4] Padma Bridge, when commissioned, is expected to boost the GDP of Bangladesh by as much as 1.2 percent.[5]


The Bangladesh Bridge Authority (BBA) invited the pre-qualification tender for the project in April 2010. Construction of the bridge was expected to commence by early 2011[6] and be ready for major completion in 2013 (and complete all sections by late 2015[7]).

After allegation of corruption by some people associated with project preparation the World Bank withdrew its commitment and other donors followed. The Government of Bangladesh then decided to fund the project from its own fund.[4]

China proposed building the bridge on the build-own-transfer (BOT) basis by investing $2 billion or 70 percent of the project cost. Four companies—China Major Bridge Engineering Company, Daelim-L&T JV and Samsung C&T Corporation—purchased the tender papers. But only the Chinese company submitted their financial proposal on 24 April 2014.

On 17 June 2014, an important progress has been made in construction of Padma Bridge. A construction firm, China Major Bridge Engineering Company Ltd, has been selected to construct the long aspired bridge on the river Padma. The 6.15 km bridge, costing an estimated 91.72 billion (US$1.1 billion).

Overview of Padma Multipurpose Bridge Project[edit]

Design Team :- The detailed design of the Padma Multipurpose Bridge is being delivered by a team of international and national consultants headed by AECOM.[8] The team comprises AECOM, SMEC International, Northwest Hydraulic Consultants[9] and ACE Consultants, with additional assistance from Aas-Jakobsen and HR Wallingford. The Project comprises two phases. Phase 1 of the Project includes the Design Phase leading through procurement action to the award of construction contracts. Phase 2 is the Construction Phase. Phase 1 of the project commenced on 29 January 2009. A dedicated Project Office was set up in Dhaka in March 2009. Detailed design of the main bridge was carried out in AECOM's Hong Kong office. All work carried out by the design team was carried out within the framework of AECOM's Quality Management System (QMS) which is independently accredited to AS/NZS ISO 9001. The QMS is designed to control all project work undertaken by the team. A project-specific Design Management Plan was established at the outset of the project, In March 2009, the Government of Bangladesh requested AECOM to accelerate the design with a view to ensuring construction could be completed before the end of 2013. This necessitated the mobilization of additional personnel within the design team. Bangladesh Bridge Authority (BBA) established an internationally recognized Panel of Experts comprising five national and five international experts to review the design at regular intervals. In addition, an Independent Checking Engineer, Flint & Neill, was engaged to review the design criteria, specification and drawings produced by the design team to ensure the design meets the project requirements and to undertake an independent check of the detailed design of the main bridge and river training works. A key feature of the detailed design was the integration of Bangladesh counterparts into the design team, which allowed the successful training of a significant number of Bangladesh personnel in all aspects of the project and the subsequent transfer of the high level of technology involved in this large and complex project.[10]

Component of the project :

  1. Main Bridge
  2. River Training Works(RTW)
  3. Janjira Approach Road & Selected Bridge End Facilities
  4. Mawa Approach Road & Selected Bridge End Facilities
  5. Service Area-2
  6. Resettlement
  7. Environment
  8. Land Acquisition
  9. CSC(Main Bridge & RTW)
  10. CSC(Approach Roads & Service Area-2)
  11. Engineering Support & Safety Team(ESST)

Main Bridge (6.15 km long):

  • Contractor : China Major Bridge Engineering Co. Ltd, China
  • Contract Period: 4 years+1 years (defect liability period)
  • Contract Cost : BDT: 12,133.39 crore
  • Date of Work Order: 26 November 2014
  • Date of Completion: 31 December 2019
  • Physical Progress of Work: 84%

River Training Works(14 km length):

  • Contractor : Sinohydro Corporation Limited, China.
  • Contract Period: 4 years+1 years (defect liability period).
  • Contract Cost : BDT: 9,400 crore.
  • Date of Work Order: 31 December 2014.
  • Date of Completion: 31 December 2019
  • Physical Progress of Work: 63%

Janjira Approach Road & Selected Bridge End Facilities (10.5 km length):

  • Contractor : AML-HCM JV.
  • Contract Period : 3 years+1 year (defect liability period).
  • Contract Cost : BDT: 1097.40 crore.
  • Date of Work Order: 8 October 2013.
  • Date of Completion: 31 October 2016
  • Physical Progress of Work: 100%

Mawa Approach Road & Selected Bridge End Facilities (1.5 km length):

  • Contractor : AML-HCM JV.
  • Contract Period : 2.5 years+1 year (defect liability period).
  • Contract Cost : BDT: 193.40 crore.
  • Date of Work Order: 27 January 2014
  • Date of Completion: 31 July 2017
  • Physical Progress of Work: 100%.

Service Area-2:

  • Contractor : Abdul Monem Ltd.
  • Contract Period : 2.5 years+1 year (defect liability period).
  • Contract Cost : BDT: 208.71 crore.
  • Date of Work Order: 12 January 2014
  • Date of Completion: 31 July 2017
  • Physical Progress of Work: 100%


  • Total Additional Grant: BDT: 645.95 crore (up to September 2019)
  • Total No. of Plots: 2752
  • 2418 plots have been handed over to the PAP (up to September 2019)
  • Date of Work Order: 1 June 2009
  • Date of Completion: 30 June 2020


  • Total No. of Trees Planted: 1,69,957
  • Date of Work Order: 1 June 2009
  • Date of Completion: 30 June 2020

Land Acquisition:

  • Total Land Acquisition:
    • Munshiganj: Acquired: 329.64 hectares, Handed Over: 319.92 hectares
    • Madaripur: Acquired: 1601.19 hectares, Handed Over: 553.18 hectares
    • Shariatpur: Acquired: 610.96 hectares, Handed Over: 579.95 hectares
  • Date of Work Order: 1 August 2006
  • Date of Completion: 31 December 2019

CSC (Main Bridge & RTW):

  • Consultant : Korea Expressway Corporation, South Korea & Associates.
  • Contract Period: 4 years+1 years (defect liability period).
  • Contract Cost : BDT: 383.15 crore.
  • Date of Signing Contract : 3 November 2014.
  • Date of Completion: 30 November 2019
  • The Progress of Work: 84%

CSC (Approach Road & Service Area):

  • Consultant : Special Works Organization(SWO-West), Bangladesh Army in association with Bureau of Research, Testing and Consultation of BUET.
  • Contract Period : 3 years+1 year (defect liability period).
  • Contract Cost : BDT: 133.49 crore.
  • Date of Work Order: 13 October 2013
  • Date of Completion: 31 October 2018
  • The progress of Work: 100%.

Engineering Support & Safety Team(ESST):

  • ESST : Bangladesh Army.
  • Contract Period: 4 years+1 years (defect liability period).
  • Contract Cost : BDT: 72.14 crore.
  • Date of Work Order : 13 October 2013
  • Date of Completion: 31 October 2018
  • Progress of Work : 100%

Current status of project[edit]

Padma bridge in under construction

Around 84%[1] construction work of the 6.15-kilometre-long two-tier Padma Multipurpose Bridge has been completed. The China Major Bridge Engineering Corporation (MBEC), which was appointed for the main bridge, will carry out the work. The soil testing and dredging works have been going on for the last four months for the river training. The bridge will have a total of 42 pillars. Each will have six piles beneath. Steel spans will be placed on the pillars. The bridge will have a total of 41 spans.

Work on the Padma Bridge is broadly divided into five parts—the main bridge, river training, two link roads and infrastructure (service area) construction. China's Sinohydro Corporation was appointed for the river training works while Bangladesh's Abdul Monem Limited was given the contract for the two link roads and infrastructure construction.

In October 2017, more than one and a half years after the main construction work began, the first span was installed between pillars 37 and 38, indicating timely progress on the project.[11]

As of November 2019, construction of 33 pillars out of 42 has been completed. A total of 17 spans out of 41 has been installed.[12]


From the beginning, the Padma bridge negotiation had been involved in controversy and conspiracy. The World Bank stated that they found, "credible evidence corroborated by a variety of sources which points to a high-level corruption conspiracy among Bangladeshi government officials, SNC-Lavalin executives, and private individuals in connection with the Padma Multipurpose Bridge Project."[13] As a result of the alleged corruption, the World Bank initially refused to sanction the proposed loan for constructing the bridge and imposed conditions for the continuation of loan talks with the government. In accordance with one of these conditions Communications Minister Syed Abul Hossain had to resign, as he was alleged to have been involved in the corruption.[14] SNC-Lavalin accepted a negotiated resolution agreement where the company and its affiliates were barred from taking part from bidding World Bank contracts for 10 years. This is particularly significant as one of the four criteria required before the international donor agrees to a negotiated settlement is: "Whether an accused party has admitted culpability". Some assume that SNC Lavalin had done so [2].

However, the corruption allegations were subsequently found to be false and without merit and the Canadian Court subsequently dismissed the case.[15]

In 2017, Former ICC prosecutor Luis Gabriel Moreno Ocampo, who came to Dhaka to monitor the progress of the alleged Padma Bridge corruption investigation, was accused of corruption.

The World Bank sent a panel of three, headed by Ocampo, to review the steps taken by the ACC in the Padma Bridge investigation. As recommended by the panel, the ACC filed a case implicating former Bridges Division secretary Mosharraf Hossain Bhuiyan and six other high-ranking government officials. Bhuiyan had to be in jail in the case. However, a Canadian court found ‘no proof’ of bribery conspiracy in the project and acquitted in January three executives of charges that SNC-Lavalin Group Inc staff planned to bribe Bangladesh officials in the Padma Bridge project.[16]

See also[edit]


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^ Sultana Munima (14 October 2014). "Korean co gets Pawdda bridge supervision work". The Financial Express. Dhaka. Retrieved 11 November 2014.
  4. ^ a b "Pawdda Bridge -- New Lifeline of Development". The Daily Star. 18 January 2016.
  5. ^ স্বপ্নের সেতু, বাস্তবের সেতু [Dream bridge, the real bridge]. (in Bengali).
  6. ^ "Funds for Pawdda Bridge Arranged". Bangladesh News. 4 December 2010. Retrieved 5 January 2011.
  7. ^ "ADB Approves Loan for Bangladesh Bridge Project". 30 November 2010. Retrieved 5 January 2011.[unreliable source?]
  8. ^[unreliable source?]
  9. ^ "NHC Project: Multipurpose Bridge - Padma".
  10. ^
  11. ^ "Padma Bridge becomes visible as first span installed".
  12. ^ "17th span of Padma Bridge installed". Dhaka Tribune.
  13. ^ "World Bank Statement on Padma Bridge". World Bank. Retrieved 8 December 2015.
  14. ^ "Abul Hossain resigns". 23 July 2012. Archived from the original on 24 July 2012.
  15. ^ "Canada court finds no proof of Pawdda bridge bribery conspiracy". 11 February 2017.
  16. ^ "Ex-prosecutor Ocampo 'undermines' International Criminal Court, leaked documents reveal".

External links[edit]