After eight years of construction, Bangladesh's longest bridge officially opened June 25. Crossing the Padma River, the roughly $3.6-billion, 6.15-km-long rail crossing carries four lanes of highway on an upper deck and a rail track on a lower deck.
The bridge was built by China Major Bridge Engineering Co. Ltd, while AECOM Technology Corp. secured the bridge design contract in 2009. Denmark's COWI A/S and companies that became subsidiaries handled various support roles for the Bangladesh Bridge Authority.
The bridge comprises 150-m-long composite truss spans, supported on piles driven up to 130 m into the ground, according to COWI. A post-tensioned, segmental concrete upper deck carries the highway. The crossing forms part of an emerging 169-km railroad running diagonally across the country between Dhaka and Jashore.
The World Bank and other international lenders pulled funding from the project a decade ago due to concerns over the involvement of SNC-Lavalin. Three officials with the Canadian firm were acquitted of bribery charges in 2017.