Padma Multipurpose Bridge, the longest of its kind in Bangladesh

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The Padma Multipurpose Bridge is a double-deck composite steel truss structure built across the Padma River in Bangladesh.

It connects Louhajang Upazila of Munshiganj and Zazira Upazila of Shariatpur as well as a small part of Shibchar Upazila of Madaripur. As a result, the Padma Bridge links the less-developed southwest of the country to the northern and eastern regions.

Featuring a total of 41 piers each of which has a length of 150 meters, the Padma Bridge carries a four-lane highway on the upper level and a single-track railway on the lower level. Reportedly there is a possibility of the construction of a gas transmission pipeline, an optic-fibre cable, and power transmission lines on the lower level.

The construction of the bridge began in Nov 2014 with China Railway Major Bridge Engineering Group as the contractor. This came slightly over 4 years since plans for the construction of the Dhaka–Faridpur road to East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) alongside a bridge across the Padma River.

The 6.15-kilometre bridge was completed and inaugurated on 25 June 2022 at a cost of US$ 3.6 billion. Its construction is considered to be the most challenging in the history of Bangladesh.

Design Overview 

The Padma Multipurpose Bridge was designed by a team that included experts from Northwest Hydraulic Consultants, SMEC International, ACE Consultants, Aas Jakobsen, and HR Wallingford. the team was led by Maunsell AECOM, the New Zealand subsidiary business of AECOM.

Its design aligns with the “displacement-based approach” for seismic resilience and implements seismic isolation between the superstructure girder and the pier-and-foundation system. This approach enables the principal bridge components to move relative to one another in case of earthquakes, thereby dissipating the large forces.

Friction pendulum bearings are used to permit large relative displacements between the bridge superstructure and the bridge piers.

The detailed design of the project was given the 2010 award for the Best Safeguard Planning System by the Asian Development Bank (ADB). ADB is an international development finance institution whose mission is to help its developing member countries to reduce poverty and improve the quality of life of their people.


Following its completion, Padma Bridge became the longest bridge in Bangladesh. It is also the longest bridge over the river Ganges (Gaṅgā) by both span and total length.

Moreover, it features the highest pile depth of any bridge in the world at 120 meters and it is also the deepest bridge in the world, with piles installed as deep as 127 metres.

Padma Multipurpose Bridge Project Timeline 


In April, the Government of Bangladesh initiated the process of shortlisting the contractors for the bridge construction.

The tenders were called in June. China Major Bridge Engineering Company, Daelim-L&T JV, and Samsung C&T Corporation participated in the tendering process.

In August, the bidding process was stalled by the World Bank after the alleged irregularities in the bidding process.


In October the World Bank funding for the project was suspended and later on withdrawn, following which the Government of Bangladesh decided to fund the project from its own funds.


China Major Bridge Engineering Company submitted its financial proposal on 24 April.

In June, the company was awarded the project’s construction contract.


In October, more than one and a half years after the main construction work began, the first span was installed between pillars 37 and 38.


In late November, the construction of all the 42 pillars was completed.

The final (41st) span of the bridge was installed in December.


In August, the last road slab was installed on the span, which linked pillars 12 and 13.

Aug 2021

Padma multipurpose bridge project in Bangladesh is 96.50% complete

Padma Multipurpose Bridge Project, one of the most challenging projects in the history of Bangladesh is approximately 96.50% complete according to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

The latter explained that 100 per cent of work on the approach road and service area at both ends of the bridge was complete while the construction work of carpeting, viaduct carpeting, waterproof membrane, movement joint of the main bridge and viaduct, lamp post, aluminium railing, gas pipeline, 400 KVA electricity and railway line is in progress at present.

According to Hasina, the revised cost of the Padma Bridge project is Tk 30,193.39 crore.

In September, while virtually attending a Doa mahfil and Quran distribution program to mark Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s 75th birthday at Naria Upazila in Shariatpur district, the Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader announced that the Padma Bridge will be opened for vehicular movement before June next year (2022).

In the first week of November 2021, asphalt carpeting on the road slabs of the Padma Multipurpose Bridge began from the Jajira end.

According to Dewan Md Abdul Quader, the executive engineer of the main bridge project, the project team will first pave 300 meters of the bridge. Roughly, it will take the team at least four months to complete the entire bridge without any interruptions.

“The carpeting works started from Pillar-40 of the Padma Bridge. The initial asphalt layer is 2.5 inches thick and at some point, it will be 1.5 inches. Noteworthy, we will also start installing street lights on the bridge from next month,” said Mr Quader.

The progress of physical works of the main structure of the Padma Bridge is now 95% complete while the overall progress of the bridge construction is 88.75%.

December 2021

Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader announced the project is on course and the bridge is expected to be inaugurated in June 2022 as planned.

“We have already completed the approach road, and we are now undertaking the pitch-casting work, the completion of which will mean the completion of the entire Padma Bridge project,” explained the minister.

May 2020

New deal signed for operation and management of Padma multipurpose bridge

A deal for the operation and management of the Padma Multipurpose Bridge has been signed. The Korea Expressway Corp. (KEC),  a South Korean corporation running the toll roads of South Korea, was awarded the project, for the first time among South Korea’s state-run enterprises. The operator of the expressway recently stated that it had signed a deal worth 100 billion (US$ 78.7 million with the Bangladesh Bridge Authority.

As per the terms of the deal, the Korea Expressway Corp. will install an intelligent traffic management system at the Padma Multipurpose Bridge. This system is known as “Hi-pass” and it is also a prepaid system for expressways utilized in South Korea. The deal also states that after the opening of the bridge, KEC will carry out various tasks that include safety patrols, toll collection, road structure maintenance as well and disaster management.

 Proposed Toll Rates Might Remain for Padma Multipurpose Bridge

Meanwhile, the proposed toll rates for the bridge, which are reportedly 1-5 times higher than the current or rather existing ferry rates against all vehicles by the BBA, are more than likely to remain final.

Sources state that the proposed higher toll rates for the engineering icon are in an effort to pay back the TK 301.93 billion project cost, back to the government exchequer within the next 35 years. 

TK 750 will be fixed for private jeep(s) and car(s), TK 2400 for buses, TK 1600 for five-tonne trucks, TK 2100 for trucks above 5 to 8 tonnes, and TK 2800 for trucks above 8 to 11 tonnes. The trucks that have three axles will incur a toll rate of TK 5500 for a trip while a trailer having four axles will incur a toll rate of TK 6000. A trailer with more than four axles will incur a toll rate of up to TK 1500 extra for each axle from the toll rate of TK 6000.

April 2023

A trial run of a train conducted over Bangladesh’s largest Padma bridge

The Bangladeshi government completed a trial run of a train on the newly-constructed rail line over the Padma Bridge, the largest bridge in the country built by China.

The trial run included the participation of Bangladeshi Railways Minister Nurul Islam Sujan, senior officials, lawmakers, politicians, and journalists.

Thousands of people gathered to witness the train crossing the bridge, which has a highway on the top deck. The trial train took 16 minutes to cross the 6.15-kilometre bridge at a slow speed of around 20 kilometres per hour.

The test run was conducted on a section of the rail link project from Bhanga to Mawa, with the entire project scheduled for completion in 2024.

Railways Minister Sujan announced that the train service on the Dhaka-Bhanga route would be inaugurated in September. He expressed satisfaction with the bridge’s construction and thanked China Railway Group Limited (CREC) for their work.

The Padma Bridge rail link project, funded by the Export-Import Bank of China, is considered one of the most significant ongoing projects by the CREC.

The rail link is expected to enhance regional connectivity, promote economic development in Bangladesh, and contribute to the trans-Asian railway network.

Jun 2022

Padma Multipurpose Bridge inaugurated

Padma multipurpose bridge, the longest of its kind in Bangladesh, has been inaugurated.

Spanning across the turbulent Padma River, the bridge was commissioned by Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. This comes after approximately eight years of construction, delays, political conflicts, high costs and graft allegations.

The opening of the bridge is a key infrastructure goal by Hasina and has been billed by her government as the jewel in its crown. The bridge reportedly shows the grit, determination and resilience of the administration in the face of international pressure and domestic criticism.