The Padma Bridge

The Padma Bridge ✪✪✪

The Padma Bridge is a multi-purpose road-rail bridge situated over the Padma River in Bangladesh. It holds the distinction of being the longest bridge in the country as well as the deepest-piled bridge globally. Its primary purpose is to connect the Munshiganj district with Shariatpur and Madaripur, linking the capital with the southwestern and northeastern regions of Bangladesh. 

History:  In 1971, before the independence of Bangladesh, the first plan to build a bridge over the Padma River was taken up. A group of Japanese survey experts prepared a feasibility report for the construction of the Dhaka-Faridpur Road. As part of the construction of the road, they suggested the construction of a bridge over the Padma River. However, the work did not progress due to the partition of the country. After Bangladesh became independent, President Sheikh Mujibur Rahman announced the construction of a bridge across the river Padma, but due to his death, the work did not start.

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The Padma Bridge Project Details: The project encompasses a 6.15 km long and 21.10 m wide bridge, along with a 15.1 km approach road, toll plazas, and service areas. The completion of this bridge is expected to have a significant impact on the economic progress and industrial development of Bangladesh, which is a developing nation with a population of approximately 180 million. It is projected that the Padma Multipurpose Bridge will contribute to a 1.2 percent increase in the country’s GDP.

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Design and Structure: The bridge design contract was awarded to a team led by Maunsell AECOM, the New Zealand business of AECOM. In 1998, the Bangladesh government initiated a Tk 3,643.50 crore project to build a 5 km long and 18.10 m wide bridge over the Padma River on the Dhaka-Mawa-Bhanga-Khulna highway to directly connect the southern and southwestern regions of the country with the capital Dhaka. Later, in 1999, a pre-feasibility study was conducted for the bridge project. On July 4, 2001, the foundation stone of the Padma Bridge was laid at the Mawa-Jazira end. In 2004, Nippon Koei, a consultant appointed by JICA (Japan International Cooperation Agency) , after conducting a detailed survey for the construction of the Padma Bridge, recommended the construction of the bridge at the previously designated Mawa-Jazira Point.

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Financing: The donor agencies, including the World Bank, Asian Development Bank, and the JICA, promised a loan of 1.9 billion USD for the project. But the loan was canceled by the donors on the allegation of corruption conspiracy (ষড়যন্ত্র) against former Communication Minister Syed Abul Hossain. However, the government dismissed (বাতিল করা) the World Bank’s allegation and decided to construct the bridge through its fund. The government has made an allocation of Tk 8100 crore for the Padma Bridge project in the Annual Development Programme (ADP) of the next fiscal year (2014-15) . Thus, the government will fund for the project for its total cost, figuring BDT 301933.88 million or USD 3.868 billion (including VAT and IT) .

Shihabur Rahman
Shihabur Rahman
Hey, This is Shihabur Rahaman, B.A (Hons) & M.A in English from National University.


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