Zakir Mahmud Salim: Lebukhali Bridge – the long-awaited dream for the people of the southern part of the country, especially for the people of Patuakhali – has turned visible recently.
The 1,470-meter-long bridge on the Dhaka-Kuakata Highway will provide direct road connectivity to the Southern region. Once the bridge is operational, it will take a maximum of 5-6 hours to travel from Dhaka to Patuakhali and Kuakata.
With the completion of the Closing Segment casting of the main part of the four-lane bridge, the two banks of the Payra River have already been paired. The concerned people have expressed hope that the main bridge and the connecting road will be suitable for traffic this month.
It is learned that the Chinese contractor Longjian Road and Bridge Co. Ltd. is constructing the bridge under the supervision of the Roads and Highways Department with the funding of the Government of Kuwait. Construction of the bridge was scheduled to be completed in April 2019, however, delayed by two years due to the COVID outbreak. According to the new agreement, the company will complete the construction work by June 30.
It has been seen on the spot that 1,268 meters connecting road and toll plaza have been constructed at both ends of the four-lane Lebukhali Bridge. Box girders on the main part of the Payra River are built on four spans. The main part has 200 meters with two spans of 18.30 meters vertical clearance.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Road Transport and Bridges has published a gazette fixing the toll for the bridge crossing. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is expected to inaugurate the 1.5-kilometer-long Lebukhali Bridge in July.
Patuakhali Municipality mayor Mohiuddin Ahmed said the dream of the people of the coast is about to be fulfilled by constructing the Lebukhali Bridge over the Payra River on the Dhaka-Kuakata Highway. With the launch of the bridge, there will be unprecedented development in the communication system of the coastal areas including Barishal-Patuakhali-Barguna.
“97 percent work of the bridge has completed,” said Patuakhali district Awami League president Kazi Alamgir, adding that the bridge will take the government’s development activities one step further besides fulfilling the dreams of the people of the south.
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