Padma Bridge

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Padma Bridge
Querschnitt Konstruktion Padma-Brücke.svg
Cross section of the Padma Bridge construction
Coordinates23°25′21″N 90°18′35″E / 23.42250°N 90.30972°E / 23.42250; 90.30972Coordinates: 23°25′21″N 90°18′35″E / 23.42250°N 90.30972°E / 23.42250; 90.30972
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)
Constructed byChina Major Bridge Engineering Company Limited Financier :Government Of Bangladesh
Construction start7 December 2014
Construction endDecember 2020 (projected but current situation looks impossible) [1]
Construction cost30193 crore (US$3.9 billion) [2]
OpenedDecember 2020.

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 Pawdda-Brahmaputra-Meghna river basins of country in terms of both span and the total length.[4]

The project covers three districts —Munshiganj (Mawa Point/North bank), Shariatpur and Madaripur (Janjira/South bank). The total area of land to be acquired and required for its components is 918 hectares (2248.63 acre). The requisition of land for the construction yard will be for six years on a rental basis. As per the new design, an additional 144.04 ha (355.93 acre) has been identified for acquisition, bringing the total to 1062.14 hectares (2624.61 acre). This additional land is required because project site lost significant land due to erosion, for transition structures and due to a change in railway alignment.

After allegation of corruption by some people associated with project preparation the World Bank withdrew its commitment and other donors followed. However, the corruption allegations were subsequently found to be false and without merit and the Canadian Court subsequently dismissed the case.[5] The project is now being funded from own resources of the Government of Bangladesh.[4]

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]). The proposed Pawdda Multipurpose Bridge Project will provide direct connectivity between the central and southwestern part of the country through a fixed link on the Pawdda River at Mawa-Janjira points. The bridge will contribute significantly towards facilitating the social, economic and industrial development of this relatively underdeveloped region with a population of over 30 million. The area of influence of the direct benefit of the project is about 44,000 km2 (17,000 sq mi) or 29% of the total area of Bangladesh. Therefore, the project is viewed as very important infrastructure towards improving the transportation network and regional economic development of the country. The bridge has provisions for rail, gas, electric line and fibre optic cable for future expansion. The Bangladesh Bridge Authority is the executing agency of the project.

On 17 June 2014,An important progress has been made in construction of Pawdda 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$1.2 billion), will connect 21 southern districts with the capital.This mega project would be completed by the end of 2018. A work order for river management issued in August 2014.

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.

The state-owned company has constructed structures like the famous 36 km Hangzhou Bay Bridge, the longest sea-crossing bridge in the world.

Padma Bridge, when commissioned, will boost the GDP by as much as 1.2 percent.[8]

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.[9] The team comprises AECOM, SMEC International, Northwest Hydraulic Consultants[10] 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 the 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.[11]

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: Physical Progress of Work: Mobilization of equipment & procurement of materials, as well as preparatory works such as geotechnical investigation, survey, steel fabrication of test pile, dredging and Contractor's accommodation, stack yard, casting yard etc. construction, are going on.

River Training Works(14 km length): Contractor : Sinohydro Corporation Limited, China. Contract Period: 4 years+1 years (defect liability period). Contract Cost : BDT: 8707.81 crore. Date of work order: 31 December 2014. Date of Completion:. Physical Progress of Work: Handed over land to Contractor, Mobilization of equipment & procurement of materials as well as Contractor's accommodation, stack yard, casting yard etc. construction is going on.

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. Physical Progress of Work: 29.10%.

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 Physical Progress of Work: 21.5%.

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 Physical Progress of Work: 12%.

Resettlement: Total Additional Grant Paid to the PAP : BDT: 500.71 crore(up to 31 December 2014). Total no. of plots: 2698 No. of residential plots: 2618 No. of commercial plots: 80 977 plots have been handed over to the PAP out of approved 1045 plots(up to 31/12/2014).

Environment: Tree plantation has been started from 2012 and 55150 nos. of tree plantation has been completed up-to-date.

Land Acquisition: The land has been acquired 1408.54 hectares.

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. The progress of Work: Deployment of manpower as well as supervision of works are going on.

CSC (Approach Road & Service Area): Consultant : Special Works Organization(SWO-West), Bangladesh Army in association with Bureau of Research, Testing and Consultation of Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology. Contract Period : 3 years+1 year (defect liability period). Contract Cost : BDT: 133.49 crore. Date of Work Order: 13 October 2013. The progress of Work: 40%.

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 Progress of Work : 40%

Current status of project[edit]

Around 56.0% 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.[12]

The second span was installed on 28 January 2018 between pillars 38 and 39.[13]

The third span was installed on 11 March 2018 between pillars 39 and 40.[14] The fourth span was installed on 13 May 2018 between pillars 40 and 41.


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."[15] 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.[16] 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 [1].

However, the corruption allegations were subsequently found to be false and without merit and the Canadian Court subsequently dismissed the case.[5]

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.[17]

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. ^ a b "Canada court finds no proof of Pawdda bridge bribery conspiracy". 11 February 2017.
  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. ^ স্বপ্নের সেতু, বাস্তবের সেতু [Dream bridge, the real bridge]. (in Bengali).
  9. ^[unreliable source?]
  10. ^ "NHC Project: Multipurpose Bridge - Padma".
  11. ^
  12. ^ "Padma Bridge becomes visible as first span installed".
  13. ^ "2nd span of Padma Bridge installed". Retrieved 28 January 2018.
  14. ^ "Third span of Padma Bridge installed".
  15. ^ "World Bank Statement on Padma Bridge". World Bank. Retrieved 8 December 2015.
  16. ^ "Abul Hossain resigns". 23 July 2012. Archived from the original on 24 July 2012.
  17. ^ "Ex-prosecutor Ocampo 'undermines' International Criminal Court, leaked documents reveal".

External links[edit]