Considering the high traffic on the Beribadh road along the bank of the Turag River in Dhaka, the government is going to widen the entire bypass route – upgrading the single-lane street to a four-lane expressway from Abdullahpur to Gabtoli.
The Roads and Highways Department (RHD) has proposed a project to construct the Dhour-Gabtoli portion of the four-lane road, while the Abdullahpur-Dhour portion will be covered by the Dhaka-Ashulia Elevated Expressway project under the Bangladesh Bridge Authority.
The RHD has already conducted a feasibility study on the 14km four-lane road from Dhour to Gabtoli and its proposal will soon be placed with the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (Ecnec).
"We initially proposed a cost of Tk1,200 crore for the 14km road but it might decrease," said RHD Additional Chief Engineer Md Sobuj Uddin Khan.
He added that work in the project could start within a year pending on the final nod.
Meanwhile, the work of the Bridge Authority's Dhaka-Ashulia Elevated Expressway project is in progress. Starting from Hazrat Shahjahal International Airport, the 24Km expressway will reach the Export Processing Zone (EPZ) in Savar via Abdullahpur-Ashulia-Baipail, covering Abdullahpur to Dhour area of the Beribadh route.
"Currently we are completing all kinds of preliminary work and next month the physical work of the project will start," said Project Director Shahabuddin Khan.
"We are looking forward to completing it within four years, a year before the stipulated time," the project director said, hoping that the elevated expressway will be operational by 2026.
Shahabuddin Khan said, the total project cost is estimated at Tk16,901 crore, of which China will provide 65%. Chinese EXIM Bank has already approved a loan of $1.2 billion, he added.
Under the project, 10.83km of ramps, 1.95km long flyovers, 14.28km of four-lane roads, 2.72km long bridge and 18km of drains on both sides of the expressway will be built, as per the project documents.
It will allow around four crore people from 30 districts to enter and exit the capital quickly and easily. It also may boost the country's gross domestic product (GDP) by 0.21%, estimated the project papers.
Other than accommodating a high number of vehicles and people's movement, the four-lane road will help curb accidents. For the last few years, the Beribadh route has reportedly become an accident-prone area.
According to locals, over the last decade vehicle movement has increased in this route manyfold and the once isolated area has now become a busy route with all kinds of vehicles plying on it.
"In just the last 10 years, the vehicular movement rose a hundred times more. Over time, many factories, residential areas, parks and recreation centres have sprung up along the Beribadh road", said a local tea stall owner Aynal Mia adding that the number of accidents also rose over the years.
DMP Sergeant Md Ashaduzzaman at Dhour Police Box said, "Each month at least 10 accidents take place and of these, two or three are fatal. Other small accidents also occur but remain unreported."
The local traffic department has found narrow roads without dividers, frequent overtaking tendencies and reckless driving as the main causes for the high number of accidents.
"Due to the divider-less 25-30 feet single-lane road, head-on-collision rate is high in this area", added Ashaduzzaman.
He said that most accidents happen at night and in the morning and vehicles tend to break traffic rules.
Another Sergeant Akramul Rajib hoped that the four-lane road will help reduce the number and frequency of accidents