Asphalt carpeting on the road slabs of the long-awaited Padma Multipurpose Bridge has officially begun.
China-based Major Bridge Engineering Company (MBEC) started paving the road with asphalt from the Jajira end of the bridge at around 9:40am on Wednesday.
Confirming the matter to The Business Standard, Dewan Md Abdul Quader, executive engineer of the main bridge project, said, "First we are going to pave 300 metres of the bridge. It will take us at least four months to complete the whole bridge," he said, adding the timeline was only possible if there were no interruptions.
"Carpeting started from Pillar-40 of the Padma Bridge. The initial asphalt layer is 2.5 inches thick. Another layer will be 1.5 inch. Besides, we will start installing street lights on the bridge from next month," he said.
Earlier on 13 July, authorities paved 60 metres of the bridge's roadway on a trial basis.
According to sources, the progress of physical works of the main structure of the Padma Bridge is 95% done. The overall progress of the bridge construction now stands at 88.75%.
The construction work of the Padma Bridge, one of the top priority projects in Bangladesh, began in December 2014.
On September 30, 2017, the first span was installed on the 37th and 38th pillars.
The last span was installed in December last year.
A total of 2,917 road slabs and 2,959 railway slabs have been installed on the 6.15km-long bridge.
The roadway will be up to 22 metres long and 2 to 2.15 metres wide.
The final road slab was laid on 23 August.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina inaugurated the construction of the main bridge in December 2015.
As per the revised proposal, the project is expected to finish by June 2022. Road and Bridges Minister Obaidul Kader made several announcements earlier to inaugurate the bridge by June next year.