Around five-kilometre-long structure of long-cherished Padma Bridge is now visible, after another span of the bridge was installed yesterday.
The 33rd span linking the third and fourth pillar at the Mawa end in Munshiganj was installed around 12 noon yesterday, Dewan Md Abdul Kader, project manager (main bridge), told The Daily Star.
With the span installment, total 4.95km of the 6.15km structure is now visible, he said.
On October 11, the authority installed 32nd span, ending a four-month stalemate over installing spans due to flood situation and strong currents in the Padma.
"We did not face much problem with strong currents today [Monday]; we hope the situation will improve further in coming days," he said.
They have plan to install two more spans within this month and all spans within December, he added.
Authorities had planned to install all 41 spans within July, but it could not be possible due to the pandemic and strong currents in the river, project officials said.
When work of most development projects was suspended due to the pandemic, the Padma Multipurpose Bridge project work continued. But the work suffered due to lack of workers -- Chinese and local -- and poor supply of construction materials since January, they said.
The project authorities were able to bring back pace after Chinese nationals returned to work in May following the end of the two-month shutdown. But strong currents in the Padma started causing problems, they said.
No span could be installed after June 10, when the 31st span was put in, officials said.
Besides, at least 192 railway stingers and 220 roadway decks, supposed to be used for construction of the bridge, went into the Padma on July 31 due to erosion at a yard.
Although the erosion could not affect the bridge, it might cause some delay as the stingers would have to be imported from Luxembourg, they added.
The current deadline of the fast-track project is June 2021. However, top government officials already said they have to extend the deadline.
Once in service, the bridge will connect the capital with 21 southwestern districts, and is expected to boost the country's gross domestic product by 1.2 percent.