The second bridge over the Dharla river in Phulbari upazila is awaiting formal opening for traffic.
At least eight lakh people of Bhurungamari, Nageshwari and Phulbari upazilas are waiting to use the dream-bridge, which will reduce about 50 kilometres of the journey to Rangpur or Dhaka.
“We are expecting that people's lifestyle improve and businesses will be developed after opening of the bridge and communication with Sonahat Land Port in Bhurungamari upazila will be easy,” said Phulbari Union Parishad Chairman Harun Ar Rashid.
Work of the bridge was started on April 24 in 2014 and was scheduled to be finished by June 24 in 2016. The work was delayed due to various reasons, including floods, at different times.
Contractor Simplex-Navana JV (joint venture) constructed the bridge and related works while the district Local Government Engineering Department (LGED) implemented it.
The 950-metre-long and 9.8-metre-wide bridge over the Dharla river has been constructed on Nageshwari-Kashipur-Phulbari-Kulaghat-Lalmonirhat road at Kabir Mamud village under Phulbari upazila at cost of Tk 196.45 crore, aiming to develop communication and socio-economic status of the people of 30 unions and one municipality under three upazilas of the district, said Md Sharifuzzaman, senior assistant engineer of LGED.
“The bridge has 95 girders on 19 spans. About 100 percent of construction work of the bridge and the 3.04-km approach roads has already been completed while about 98 percent of the three-kilometre river training has been completed,” said Sharifuzzaman.
“We suspended construction several times due to floods and technical issues. The natural disaster hampered completion of the bridge work by the scheduled time (June 24 in 2016). We expect the work of river training will be completed within January in 2018,” said Shadhon Kumar Paul, project manager of Simplex-Navana JV.
“We hope that Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will open the dream bridge for people of Kurigram and Lalmonirhat. The opening date will be fixed by high officials in Dhaka,” said Syed Abdul Aziz, executive engineer of district LGED.