Home Bangladesh Bangabandhu rail bridge project to see 4-month delay
Bangladesh - September 27, 2023

Bangabandhu rail bridge project to see 4-month delay

Staff Correspondent: The Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Railway Bridge on the Jamuna River project is set to face a few months’ delay as one of the two construction packages is running behind schedule.
The Japan-funded dedicated rail bridge project is expected to be completed by 24 December, four months after the official construction work ending period of August 2024.
“The construction work faced a delay of 3-4 months as the WD-2 package work, being carried out in the western part, is running behind the WD-1 package in the eastern part,” Project Director Al Fattah Md Masudur Rahman told the Daily Sun.
“The WD-2 package faced equipment mobilisation problems, and the efficiency of that working team was comparatively low. As a result, this package is 3-4 months behind,” he further stated, adding that the WD-1 package is fully on track to be completed by August next year.
The project is being implemented in two packages-WD1 and WD2. Obayashi-TOA-JFE Joint Venture, Japan and IHI-SMCC Joint Venture, Japan are the contractors for the two packages.
The project director informed that the WD package has gathered pace to recoup work loss after addressing equipment and manpower issues.
He added that the contractor has adopted a “mitigation schedule” to overcome work loss by engaging additional equipment and more manpower.
The overall progress of the project stands at 70 percent, with the WD-1 package advancing 85 percent and the WD-2 package progressing 61 percent, according to the project director.
“Still, we hope to complete the project by December 2024, although the project deadline is December 2025, in line with DPPP, which also includes the maintenance period,” Fattah expects.
So far, piling has been done for 50 piers and 32 piers have been constructed up to the head, while 24 superstructures for spans have been installed, he told the Daily Sun.
The 4.8km dedicated rail bridge is being constructed on the Jamuna River, parallel to the existing Bangabandhu Bridge, as part of the government’s efforts to remove infrastructural bottlenecks. The necessity for a separate rail bridge was felt as the existing bridge is unable to ensure the quick movement of trains. It currently takes more than 30 minutes to cross the bridge. However, the new rail bridge will reduce the time to only five minutes and will ensure a speed of 120km for trains.
At present, only 38 trains ply on the Bangabandhu bridge, but the new rail bridge will raise this number to 88, significantly improving rail connectivity and economic activity in the northern part of the country.
After facing some initial delays due to the first wave of COVID-19 in the country, project work formally commenced on 10 August 2020, while piling work started on 22 March 2021.
Apart from the construction of the 4.8km main bridge, a total of 30.7km of rail line will be constructed. This will include a 0.05km viaduct on both sides, a 7.667km railway approach embankment, and loop and siding.
Existing stations on both sides, along with their signalling and telecommunications systems, will also be upgraded.
Fifty percent of the construction work for station buildings has already been completed, and track laying is in progress. Work is also ongoing for the construction of culverts and drains under the project, Fattah informed.
Additionally, earth-filling work for the embankments of two approach roads has been completed, and work is underway for the embankment’s sub-ballast, he added.
The revised cost of the project now stands at Tk 167.81 billion, of which JICA is providing Tk 121.49 billion or 72.40 percent of the total cost, and Tk 46.32 billion is being sourced from the GoB fund.

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