The roadway of Padma Bridge has now become visible after the final road slab was posted on it on Monday.
The much-awaited bridge will be open to traffic once the slabs are paved with asphalt. The authorities expect to inaugurate it by next June.
A total of 2,917 road slabs have been installed on the 6.15 kilometre-long bridge. The roadway will be up to 22 meters long and 2 to 2.15 meters wide. Work on paving the road with asphalt will start after the monsoon season ends.
Work on laying road slabs on the bridge at the end of Jazira began in March 2019.
Dewan Md Abdul Quader, executive engineer of the Padma Bridge project, said, "The last roadway slab has been laid on the span of piers 12 and 13 of the bridge, thus connecting Mawa with Zajira."
Vehicles will run on the upper level of the two-story Padma Bridge, while trains will operate on the lower level. Earlier, on 20 June this year, railway slabs were installed on the main bridge.
Road Transport and Bridges minister Obaidul Quader said, "The carpeting work will start towards the end of October and the Padma Bridge will be open to traffic by June 2022."
Taking part in a discussion meeting the same day, he further said work on the main bridge has made a progress of 94.25%, while 84.25% of river training work has been completed. The overall progress is 87.25%.
With the launch of the bridge, communications with 21 districts in the south will be easier. In December 2015, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina inaugurated the construction of the main bridge.
Ahmed Ahsan Ullah Majumder, assistant engineer of the Padma Bridge project, told The Business Standard that work on installation of railings, street lights, and road dividers is now going on.
"We hope to complete all kinds of work on the bridge by next March," he added.
With the last road slab installed, the long wait for the Padma Bridge is now almost over. Work on the Tk30,000 crore road-rail bridge project started after signing an agreement with China Major Bridge Engineering Company Ltd in July 2014.
The first span of the bridge was installed in 2017. The other 40 spans were placed in about three years and two months' time.