Narrow bridges

The government will open 100 bridges on November 7

The government will inaugurate 100 new bridges on November 7 in a bid to boost the country’s road network, especially in the hills and haor areas.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is expected to virtually inaugurate the newly constructed bridges, said Shaikh Walid Faiej, public relations officer at the Ministry of Road Transport and Bridges.

“The simultaneous opening of all 100 bridges will be a historic moment for the country,” he told the Dhaka Tribune.

According to the Roads and Highways Department (RHD), the total length of the 100 new bridges is 5.87 km, as most of the bridges are less than 100 meters long. Many of the new bridges replace the old, narrow and dilapidated Bailey Bridges, which pose a serious risk of traffic accidents.

“Among the 100 new bridges, 45 bridges were built in Chittagong Hill Track districts. Of the 45 bridges, 41 will be opened in Khagrachhari, two in Dohazari and one in Rangamati and one in Bandarban. Meanwhile, 17 new bridges are ready to be opened in Sunamganj district, a haor-prone region of the country,” an RHD official said.

The bridges will make the journey more comfortable for tourists as Khagrachhari is one of the most attractive tourist destinations in the country due to its beautiful landscape, filled with hills, forests and waterfalls.

According to Mahmud Al-Nur Salehin, executive engineer in Khagrachhari, the number of roads in the hilly districts is very limited.

He said the roads become impassable when one of the Bailey Bridges collapses. He noted that this happened too frequently.

“Thus, the construction of new bridges will ensure continuous road communications between the different neighborhoods and upazilas. The number of accidents will be reduced and transportation will be faster overall,” he added.

Apart from hills and haor areas, 14 bridges are expected to be opened in Barisal, two in Dhaka, six in Mymensingh, one in Comilla, five in Gopalganj and Rajshahi, and four in Rangpur.

The RHD spent over Tk 900 crore to build the 100 bridges across the country.