Payra Bridge opens to traffic tomorrow
The bridge constructed over the Payra river in Lebukhali area on Patuakhali-Barishal highway will open to traffic tomorrow.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will inaugurate the four-lane bridge virtually from her official residence Gono Bhaban.
The 1,460m long and 19.6m wide bridge will be connected on both sides by cables. The bridge is 18.30m high from the water level. Seven km approach roads have been constructed on the both sides of the bridge.
For the first time in the country, a "bridge health monitor" system has been installed on the bridge, which will send signals of natural disasters, including thunderstorms and earthquakes, or any damage.
The use of single pillar in the middle of the river will not disrupt the normal flow of the river, Abdul Halim, director of the bridge project, said.
The government approved the bridge project in May, 2012. The foreign-funded project was expected to be completed by December 2016 at the estimated cost of Tk 413.28 crore.
But construction work was delayed and therefore the estimated cost increased to Tk 1,170 crore -- about three and a half times the initial cost. The director, however, said they will be able to save Tk 52 crore from the total estimated cost.
He said after the bridge opens, one can travel to Kuakata from Dhaka via Barishal without ferry.
When the construction of Padma Bridge will be completed, direct road communication will be established between Dhaka and Kuakata.
The prime minister laid the foundation stone of Payra bridge on March 19, 2013.
The Kuwaiti Fund for Arab Economic Development and the OPEC Fund for International Development have jointly funded the construction of the Longjian Road and Bridge Construction Bridge, a Chinese firm.