Padma Bridge: boring for soil test begins, meeting with WB today

A meeting between visiting World Bank Vice President Isabel Guerrero and communications minister Syed Abul Hossain will be held in Dhaka today, which among other things will specially focus on bank’s finance for the proposed Padma Bridge project.

Communications minister Syed Abul Hossain today said this while talking to reporters here after a visit to one of the five boring sites of main bridge area at Janjira point for soil test.

Terming the meeting very important, the minister said on Wednesday, ‘The WB like other donors is very keen to finance the mega project and we expect that the size of the actual support of the WB will be more than US$ 300 million so far committed.’

Maunsell AECOM, design consultant of the Padma Bridge, so far drilled at five points on both sides of the bridge including three on a new char on the Padma at Janjira side. Two other drills were at Mawa and Jinjira.

‘Primarily we find excellent soil condition, which consists of stone like rock and compact sand under the river bed,’ said Rafiqul Islam, chief engineer of the bridge authorities.

However, Bangladesh University Engineering and Technology will further test the soil he said adding that the depth of the piers of the bridge will depend on the strength of the soil to be confirmed after final test of the BUET.

Secretary of the bridge Ddivision Zahid Hossain and project manager of Munsell AECOM, Ken Wheeler and senior officials of the ministry were present.

Syed Abul Hossain, who is steering the whole process of the most priority project of the present government, said local and foreign experts will visit the boring sites from next week and final scheme design of the bridge would be submitted by the end of this month.

‘Seeing the soil condition, we are hopeful that the Tk 10,000 crore bridge could be constructed much ahead of the schedule in December 2013,’ he said.