June 2022

Inauguration of Padma Multipurpose Bridge, Bangladesh

The Padma Bridge was inaugurated by the Prime Minster of the Government of Bangladesh, Sheikh Hasina, on Saturday 25th June 2022.

“The completion of this bridge will fulfil the long-cherished dream of the nation for connecting the 19 south-western districts with the rest of the country resulting in collective prosperity, socioeconomic development of Bangladesh as well as enhanced regional connectivity,” the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Bangladesh said in a statement.

The bridge has been under construction since 2014 and comprises a two-level, steel truss bridge with a four-lane highway on the upper level and a single-track railway on the lower level. The upper and lower levels act compositely for live loading with a reinforced concrete deck slab. The bridge has a total length of 6.15 kilometres and a width of 22 metres at upper deck level. As well as rail and road, the bridge carries utilities including high pressure gas pipe and telecommunication lines. The main bridge comprises 41 spans of 150m, supported on 42 piers. The main river pier foundations are formed of 262 steel tubular piles of 3m diameter driven to depths of over 100m. The piers and foundations are designed to resist ship impact, seismic loads from earthquakes, scour and liquefaction of the river bed, as well as the road and rail traffic loading. The project includes seven piled foundation platforms for 400kV interconnector towers.

The bridge inauguration brings another milestone to the project, which Rendel has been involved with for over 30 years; the location of Padma Bridge was initially included in studies (in the 1980s) that led to the construction of the Bangabandhu (Jamuna) Bridge, which opened in 1998. Rendel, in partnership with BCL Associates (of Bangladesh) and NEDECO (of the Netherlands) conducted a pre-feasibility study for the Padma Bridge from 1999 to 2000 to study the location of the bridge; estimate traffic; consider whether the bridge should be configured to carry rail, gas and electricity, as well as road traffic; consider a tunnel as an alternative to the bridge; the river training works required; and estimate costs for the project.

Following further detailed studies, the construction of the bridge commenced, at the location recommended by the Rendel led team, in 2014. In February 2016, Rendel was appointed by the Bangladesh Bridge Authority (BBA) as the Management Support Consultant (MSC), to provide expert support to the BBA in its role as the Engineer for the main bridge and river training works contracts. The total project cost is US$ 3.9 billion. The main bridge contractor is China Major Bridge Engineering Company Limited, part of China Rail Construction Corporation and the contractor for the river training works is Sinohydro Corporation Limited.

Rendel is the lead consultant in an association with BCL Associates Limited (Bangladesh), Padeco Co. Ltd (Japan) and Katahira & Engineers International (KEI) (Japan) with services including the following activities:

•         Assisting the BBA, in an advisory role, in its capacity as “Client/Owner/Employer” of the project

•         Project management including coordination, reporting, monitoring of progress and plans, etc.

•         Specialist technical advice for bridgeworks (substructure and superstructure)

•         Management of design changes during construction

•         Specialist technical advice for river training works

•         Contractual advice and settlement of claims

•         Review of Quality Control and Quality Assurance Plans

•         Budgetary and financial management

•         Implementation of the Social Safeguard Plans (environment, resettlement, etc.)

•         Management of monitoring and evaluation(M&E) programme for socio-economic aspects

Rendel’s managing director, Vardaman Jones, said:  “We, at Rendel, extend our congratulations to our client, the Bangladesh Bridge Authority, on bringing the Padma Multipurpose Bridge project to fruition. This is a major milestone in the ongoing development of Bangladesh’s transport network and is testimony to the hard work and dedication of all involved. We are delighted that Rendel’s involvement in this prestigious project, undertaking pre-feasibility studies and in undertaking management support consultancy services during construction, has culminated in a successful outcome which will serve the people of Bangladesh for many years to come.”.

Rendel’s team included:

Vardy Jones – Project Director

Keith Taylor – Assignment Director/Interim Team Leader

Ronnie Halliday – Team Leader

Michael King – Bridge Expert (Superstructure)

Andrew Taylor – Bridge Expert (Substructure)

Satia Soeryadiredja - Bridge Dehumidification Systems 

Bert te Slaa – River Training Works Expert

Liam Gray – Senior Contract Specialist

Dick Tappin – Senior Advisor – Management and Contractual (was previously Project Director for Pre-Feasibility Study in 1999)

With other team members being provided by BCL and Padeco.