Bangladesh’s new US$1.1 billion bridge

A new bridge costing US$1.1 billion is planned for Bangladesh.
Finance & Funding / July 11, 2024 50 seconds Read
By MJ Woof
A loan will help pay for the replacement of a historic bridge in Bangladesh – image courtesy of © Muhammad Amdad Hossain|

Construction of the new bridge for Kalurghat in Bangladesh is expected to cost nearly US$1.1 billion. The project will benefit from a loan, which is being provided by South Korea and is being negotiated by Bangladesh’s Economic Relations Division (ERD).

The new bridge will replace a 239m structure that opened in 1930 and is in a poor condition, making it unable to cope with the traffic it has to carry at present. It has had to be closed at various times to carry out maintenance work, presenting transport headaches for the industries in the area that it serves. The existing bridge carries both road and rail traffic over the Karnaphuli River and is located close to Chittagong. Until the completion of the Shah Amanat Bridge in 1989, it was the only structure spanning the Karnaphuli River in the Chittagong vicinity.

With just a single lane for road and rail, the existing bridge offers limited capacity. The Bangladesh Government decided to build a new bridge in 2014, however there have been numerous design studies and design changes since that time, which have delayed the project.

The new structure will have to allow greater clearance for vessels using the Karnaphuli River, a factor that resulted in some redesign work. The plan initially was to build a new bridge with two lanes for road traffic as well as a single rail line. However, that was then reviewed and it was decided that the new bridge would have two road traffic lanes and two rail lines, resulting in more redesign work.

The numerous redesigns have delayed the project, as well as boosting the cost significantly. The new bridge is not expected to be ready until 2028.