Vol. 5 Num 442 Tue. August 23, 2005  
Front Page

Meghna, Gumti Bridges Repair
Ferry service on Dhaka-Ctg highway from Sept 10

Ferry service will be introduced along the Dhaka-Chittagong highway from September 10 for nearly two months as the government starts repairs of the Meghna and Gomti bridges.

Vehicles plying on the Meghna and Gumti bridges will be suspended during the repair work, which will start from September 10 on the Gumti bridge, followed by the Meghna bridge.

The expansion joints of both the bridges have been damaged severely due to the lack of proper maintenance, sources said. The government has already imported iron strips from China to use as the expansion joints, the sources said.

During the repairs, ferry service will be introduced in the Gumti and Meghna rivers. The Roads and Highway department has arranged as many as 10 ferries and two pontoons that will be installed on the Gumti Bridge, the sources said.

"The iron strips on the bridge have been weakened and need to be repaired. During the repairing works, ferry service will be introduced in the river but obviously it will be a hazardous on such busy roads," said Nazmul Huda, the communications minister.

"I would request all to use the Brahmanbaria diversion road to go to Chittagong to reduce pressure on the Dhaka-Chittagong highway," the minister added.

Officials from the Roads and Highway department think ferry service will be unable to handle the traffic of the Dhaka-Chittagong highway.

It was seen yesterday that both the bridges vibrate severely when any loaded vehicles pass on them.

However, a senior engineer from the roads and highway department said it is not very unusual that the bridge vibrates.

"It could vibrate as it is made of concrete and iron rods. It is not very unusual," said one of the concerned engineers, requesting anonymity.

The Meghna bridge, which opened on February 1,1991, was built with the financial help of the Japanese government. The Gumti was opened for traffic on November 1, 1994. No major maintenance work has been carried out so far on either bridge since their opening, the sources said.