Expanding Bangladesh’s Road Capacity

OC Global has designed and is now managing the construction of new bridges parallel to the existing Kanchpur, Meghna and Gumti bridges and the rehabilitation of the existing bridges.

Challenge

Help Bangladesh expand the capacity of its most important trunk highway by eliminating the bottlenecks existing at three major river crossings

Bangladesh’s strong economic development, with GDP doubling from 2000 to 2008 and again from 2008 to 2015, created rapid growth in flows of passengers and freight between the landlocked capital Dhaka and the second largest city Chittagong, with its international deep-sea port. Projects to upgrade the Dhaka–Chittagong National Highway No.1 excluded the three long bridges crossing the Kanchpur, Meghna, and Gumpti rivers. Built almost 30 years ago, these 2-lane bridges needed to be widened to 8 lanes in the Kanchpur section and 6 lanes in the Meghna and Gumti sections to avoid becoming major bottlenecks after the highway expansion.

With technical and financial assistance from JICA’s Official Development Assistance (ODA), the government of Bangladesh decided to construct new bridges parallel to the existing ones as well as upgrade the existing bridges in the above three sections.

For the superstructure design of the new bridges, steel narrow box girders were adopted for earthquake resistance, their light weight, and fast construction. The foundations for pylons are steel pipe sheet piles (SPSP), which can withstand strong earthquakes and riverbed scouring.

The existing Meghna and Gumti bridges are multi-span with hinges and expansion joints in the middle of each span between piers. The hinges were losing their proper function, generating noise and unfavorable impact forces on the expansion joints when vehicles pass over them.

For Meghna, all center hinges except that at the center of piers 5 and 6 will be removed and the girders will be connected by filling concrete and placing a prestressed concrete (PC) bar at the hinge section. Only the damaged hinge at the pier 5-6 section will be replaced by a new hinge.

For Gumti, all center hinges except those between piers 4-5 and 8-9 will be removed and the girder will be connected by the same method as in Meghna.

Services

OC Global has been at the forefront of this project through all stages. We completed the feasibility study in 2013 as a JICA technical assistance study. OC Global then led a consortium that was selected to provide the detailed design, tender assistance and construction supervision. Work commenced in February 2014 and is expected to be completed in October 2019.

Meghna 2nd Bridge (Steel Narrow Box Girder Bridge, Bridge Length=930m)

Results

2nd Kanchpur Bridge: 6-span continuous steel narrow box girder (bridge length = 397.3 m, road Width = 18.1 m)

2nd Meghna Bridge: 12-span continuous steel narrow box girder (bridge length = 930.0 m, road width = 17.75 m)

2nd Gumti Bridge: 9-span + 8-span continuous steel narrow box girder (bridge length = 1,410 m, road width = 17.75 m)

Existing Kanchpur Bridge: slab deck strengthening, reinforced concrete (RC) lining for piers, retrofitting the foundations with SPSP that hold the foundation of the 2nd bridge

Existing Meghna and existing Gumti bridges: connecting the simply supported girders to become a continuous girder at the hinged sections, retrofitting the foundations with SPSP that hold the foundation of the 2nd bridges

Others: approach roads, intersections, intersection flyovers, box culverts.

Location
Bangladesh
Official Title
The Kanchpur, Meghna, Gumti 2nd Bridges Construction and Existing Bridges Rehabilitation Project
Project Type
Detail Design & Construction Supervision for Bridge Construction & Rehabilitation
Client
Roads and Highways Department, Roads Division, Ministry of Road Transport and Bridges, Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh / JICA Loan
Project Period

2014 – Present

“The old bridges will be ready by the end of 2019, meaning traffic movement on the vital highway will be faster,”
Saidul Haq, project director and additional chief engineer of Bangladesh’s Roads and Highways Department (2017)