FINAL SPAN of the Jamuna bridge in Bangladesh will be slotted into place this month as the $696M structure moves towards completion on programme in June.
The 4.8km long bridge has been advancing at a rate of one span every week - each span weighs 186t and is 100m long.
Construction is being supervised by UK consultant High Point Rendel with the Dutch firm Nedeco and Bangladesh Consultants.
It will be the first fixed link across the Jamuna river, and will carry a four lane road, as well as metre and broadgauge rail track. The bridge will also be used for a 240kV electrical power line, the pylons for which are being installed as the bridge progresses, and a high pressure gas pipeline underneath the deck.
The Jamuna river is a braided river, with a braid belt up to 40km wide. Even at its narrowest point the river in flood is some 15km wide.
River training works, involving placing 871,000m2 of geotextiles and more than 1.6Mt of rock imported from Indonesia and India have, however, trained the flow into the 4.8km wide
The west approach to the bridge is substantially complete and the east approach road, also approximately 15km long, is planned for completion in April.
Since construction began in October 1995, 121 steel tubular piles of up to 3.16m diameter and 82m length have been driven.
Precasting of the concrete glued segmental superstructure, made up of 1,214 segments, progressed well after the initial learning curve.
At height of production, some 96 segments were being cast every month.