For any nation, infrastructure is something that shapes a country’s foundation for economic growth. There’s no denying that a bridge occupies a great position in the economic development of a country. They connect paths and make inaccessible areas easily accessible. As a result, the communication and transportation of these places prosper, contributing to the growth of the nation. So, here are some of the most important bridges that are making an impact on Bangladesh’s economy.
1. Padma Bridge
At the top of our list we have the Padma Bridge, which is considered to be the most influential infrastructure in the country. The Honorable Prime Minister Of Bangladesh, Sheikh Hasina, inaugurated the much-awaited Padma Bridge this year on June 25.
Bangladesh now has a continuous road-based commute network, and the 6.15-kilometer-long road-rail bridge on one of the major rivers is the strongest economic stimulus since the nation gained independence in 1971. The bridge is likely to raise the country’s GDP growth by 1.23 percent. The lives and livelihoods of the people in 21 south and southwest districts would be significantly improved by the Padma Bridge. It is anticipated that economic entities like small enterprises, housing markets, hospitals, and colleges would all see fast expansion because of the Padma Bridge. It will link the southwest part of the nation with the northern and eastern areas by connecting Louhajong, Munshiganj, Shariatpur, and Madaripur. Along with facilitating industrialization and a steady supply of raw materials, the direct connection to the capital will promote positive trade and commerce growth. Agriculture will advance tremendously. The bridge is to reduce travel time between Dhaka division and the southwest by five to ten hours for trucks and around two hours for vehicles and buses. Additionally, the bridge will reduce the distance between Dhaka and the Mongla Port, which will have a distance of 170 kilometers, as opposed to the 264 kilometers between Dhaka and Chattogram seaport. Furthermore, the bridge would increase access to the city from the center and south-western areas by facilitating rail connectivity.
The Padma Bridge was the nation’s first significant project to be funded by the government with its own resources rather than getting loans from reputable bilateral lending organizations like the Japan International Cooperation Agency or traditional multilateral lenders like the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank.
2. Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Tunnel
The Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Tunnel or Karnaphuli Tunnel would be the first underwater tunnel in South Asia. The main tunnel is 3.32 kilometers long. Each tunnel tube is 2.45 kilometers long and 10.8 kilometers in diameter. Four lanes total and two in each tube will be included in the tunnel.
This Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Tunnel is a definite step in the right direction for Bangladesh, with the potential to not only boost our economy but improve the lives of our citizens. This tunnel is constructed by the China Communication and Construction Company Limited. The tunnel will have 5.35 kilometers of linking roads that would connect the southern and northern parts of the Chattogram district, opening up economic opportunities for people in the region. The Karnaphuli river divides Chattogram into two parts. The tunnel will connect the city and Anwara Upazila. The tunnel will also be used as an alternative road to Cox’s Bazar, Teknaf and Matarbari, and northern Chattogram. Moreover, this tunnel will do wonders for the tourism sector of Chattogram and Cox’s Bazar. There will be less pressure of vehicles in Chattogram city. As vehicles traveling to Chattogram would not need to pass through the main city once the tunnel is available for vehicular movement. The communication system will also have a boost due to this tunnel as well. According to the Roads and Highways Department (RHD), about 63 lakh vehicles will pass through the tunnel every year. A large part of it will be used for transporting raw materials and manufactured goods to Chittagong port, airport, and the north-western part of the country.
Due to this tunnel, the port city of Chittagong will become a full-fledged commercial city. The hub of economic activity will take place at the Matarbari deep seaport, the Maheshkhali LNG terminal, and the Banshkhali coal power stations. Various industrial areas, including the China EPZ, is being set up at the Anwara end. Once the project is finished, it’s estimated that the country’s GDP will rise by 0.17 percent.
3. Jamuna Bridge
One of the main water streams in Bangladesh, the Jamuna river, physically divides the country into two halves, eastern and western regions. The Jamuna Bridge, which Bangabandhu dreamt of, was completed in 1998.
This 4.8 km long rail bridge is constructed on 50 pillars, providing the first road and rail link between the relatively less-developed northwest region of the country. This stimulated economic growth by facilitating the transport of passengers, freight, and the transmission of electricity, natural gas, and telecommunications across the Jamuna River more efficiently. It’s the 6th longest bridge in South Asia. Normally, 15,000 cars pass the bridge each day, but during Eid, that number rises to 40,000 to 50,000. JMB improved the accessibility of Sirajganj to Dhaka dramatically. It increased employment opportunities, and the property value went up in Tangail.
4. Khan Jahan Ali Bridge
The Khan Jahan Ali Bridge is one of the largest bridges built over the Rupsha River and is also known as Rupsha Bridge. The Rupsha bridge construction started in 2001 and was completed in 2005. The distance of the bridge from Rupsha Ghat in Khulna city is 4.60 km. Khan Jahan Ali (KJA) Bridge was constructed to promote industrial and commercial activity and improve the livelihood and employment rate for local people.
This bridge can be called the gateway of Khulna city because the bridge connects the southern districts, especially the Mongla seaport with Khulna city. Besides connecting Khulna district and Bagerhat district, this bridge is playing an important role in the country’s economy. It is a 4 lane bridge with a length of 1.6 km. A study suggests that after the bridge had been constructed, 84% of people have new jobs, and about 87% of people’s income levels have increased. The Rupsha Bridge is also vital for reviving the Mongla seaport, as it will establish a direct road link with the neighboring countries of Nepal and Bhutan.
5. Payra Bridge
The Payra Bridge was built over the Payra River at Lebukhali in the Patuakhali district. The bridge was inaugurated in 2021 after the construction began in 2016. Longjian Road and Bridge Construction, a Chinese contractor, is carrying out the project.
Since the Payra bridge is complete, it has brought changes in that region’s communication system and economy. The most probable beneficiaries are the shipbuilding, clothing, fish processing, and tourist sectors. There are more than 150 hotels in that area that cater to about 10,000 people daily. During the pre-pandemic era, at least 15,000 tourists visited each year. People in Barishal city would be able to travel in an hour to the Payra seaport and the Patuakhali district thanks to the 1.47-kilometer bridge. And it will take just over two hours to get to Kuakata. In addition, the Payra Bridge will make it possible for people in remote communities in the southern region to receive essential public services due to this bridge. On top of that, it has made it possible to reach Patuakhali from Barisal without taking a ferry. Moreover, Patuakhali and Cox’s Bazar are considered suitable for building headquarters for marine fisheries rather than Dhaka city. And trade relations with southern districts will develop as well. According to the Kuakata Hilsa Fish Suppliers Association, Kuakata, Alipore, and Mahipur ship at least 15 to 20 tonnes of Hilsa around the country each day. The travel process will be eased through the construction of the Payra bridge, thus the local fish industry will surely expand.
Since ancient times to the present, bridges have been used extensively to cross rivers, valleys, and roadways, allowing access to various regions of the country. Besides, every country requires an infrastructure to carry out any type of socially valuable and service-oriented activity. Because of their direct connections to other locations, bridges have play distinctive role in the transportation system. Because of their direct connections to other locations, bridges have a distinctive role in the transportation system. These structures serve to handle the highway’s traffic loads while navigating obstacles and performing efficient communication between two locations.