The people of south-western region are eagerly waiting for enjoying faster communication with different parts of the country including the capital Dhaka as the construction of the country's first ever six-lane bridge is scheduled to be complete in September next year.
The 690-metre-long bridge, being constructed with the financial assistance of Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), will reduce 100 kilometres of distance from Jashore to the capital, Syed Gias Uddin, executive engineer of the Roads and Highways Division, also project director (PD) of Kalna Bridge, told BSS.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on January 24 in 2015 laid the foundation stone of the Kalna Bridge over the Madhumati River flowing between Kashiani upazila under Gopalganj district and Lohagara upazila under Narail district, the PD said.
The estimated cost of bridge is Tk 960 crore, he said, adding that over 30 percent of the construction work is already complete.
After opening, the bridge will directly benefit the people of the region including Jashore, Narail, Magura, Jhenidah, Chuadanga, Meherpur, Satkhira and part of Khulna district, project officials said, adding that the benefit will significantly rise after the opening of the Padma Bridge.
The people of the region now use the Jashore-Dhaka Highway via Paturia-Daulatdia ferry route, which requires covering a long way to reach Dhaka from Jashore.
The bridge, which will also ease communication between the capital and the country's biggest Land Port at Benapole, will be a part of Asian Highway, the PD said.
The 27.1-metre-wide bridge will have six lanes including four lanes for high speed vehicles and two service lanes and there will be a total of 4.30-kilometre approach roads on both sides.
Md Shahidul Islam Milon, former president of Jashore Chamber of Commerce and
Industries, said after completion of the bridge and re-construction work of the road, the people of the area will enjoy economic advantage, which will be even better after opening of the expressway leading to the under-construction Padma Bridge.
The economic activities of Benapole Land Port, Mongla Sea Port and Noapara
River Port will see a boost while the residents of a vast area will be able to travel to and from the capital for various purposes in much shorter time, he added.
Talking to the BSS, several commuters of the region expressed happiness over the rapid progress of the construction work of the bridge where nearly 300 people are working.