The final roadway slab of Padma Bridge, dubbed the“Dream Bridge”of Bangladesh, was installed on August 27. The China Railway Major Bridge Reconnaissance & Design Institute Co., Ltd. contributed to the design of the bridge and the China Railway Major Bridge Engineering Group Co., Ltd. was the construction contractor.
With the main bridge length reaching 6.15 kilometers, the two-deck steel truss bridge carries 2,917 slabs, each weighing around 60 tons, on the upper road deck.
The construction of the road deck was complicated and required high technical standards. Deviation needed to be contained within 2 mm when placing steel trusses, each of which measures 150 meters in length and weighs around 3,000 tons. Due to temperature differences, a slab on the road deck could move as far as 20 mm within several hours. To ensure accuracy, technicians and engineers adopted the translocation mode. They ensured installation accuracy through real-time measurement and calculations with the steel truss as the benchmark.
The Padma Bridge is an important section of the Trans-Asian Railway that connects China with Southeast Asian countries. A pivotal project under the Belt and Road Initiative, it is the largest overseas bridge constructed by a Chinese contractor, and is dubbed the “Dream Bridge” by Bangladeshi people.
The Padma Bridge, when commissioned, will connect 21 regions in south Bangladesh with the country’s capital Dhaka via rail and road, ending the country's history of nearly 1,000 years when ferry was the only means of transportation available to cross the Padma River. Travel time across the river will be cut from previous seven to eight hours to 10 minutes. It is also expected to boost Bangladesh's GDP by as much as 1.2 percent every year.
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