The 3.32-kilometre long tunnel under the Karnaphuli River in Chattogram is expected to be ready for vehicular movements by 2022.
“The overall progress of Karnaphuli Tunnel has reached 62 per cent. Once completed, the tunnel will be a part of Asian Highway,” Project Director (PD) Engineer Harunur Rashid Chowdhury said on Monday, reports BSS.
He said the total length of the proposed first-ever four-lane Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman tunnel will be around 9.39 kilometres, including 3.32 kilometres of the main tunnel, adding that the total length of the approach road between the western and eastern side will be 5.35 kilometres alongside 727 metres of over bridge (Viaduct).
The project director said the length of the tunnel tube will be 2.45-km, while 10.80 diametres inside the tube is fixed and vertical clearance inside the tunnel is 4.90 metres.
According to the project details, 104 metres boring of the second tunnel tube has been completed so far till yesterday, while construction work of all 19,616 segments were completed in Zhenjiang city of Jiangsu province in China on December 31, 2020.
Besides, experts were making the segments rejected earlier there and 15,784 segments were brought in Chattogram site and 9,784 and 416 segments were installed in the under-construction first tunnel and second tube respectively, it said.
Construction work of substructure for 727 metres viaduct was completed and superstructure work of 142 pre-febricated box girders out of 203 was ended.
Meanwhile, 115 pre-fabricated box girders were installed in between 1-13 spans.
Harun-ur-Rashid hoped that the installations of rings in these tubes will be finished by next May or June, if the weather remains favourable and no natural calamity takes place.
The two tubes comprised of four lanes and each tube measures 35 feet wide and 16 feet high. After completion of the project, it will greatly improve the traffic conditions in Chattogram and promote the economic development of the country.
Earlier, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and President of China Xi Jinping laid foundation stone of the tunnel on October 14, 2017. Later, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina inaugurated the boring work of the tunnel on February 24, 2019.
The estimated cost of the tunnel is Taka 103.74 billion, where the Chinese Exim Bank will provide 59.13 billion.
The Chinese firm, China Communication Construction Company Ltd (CCCC), was appointed as a consultant for the construction of the tunnel.
The tunnel will connect Chattogram Port and Anowara Upazila and is expected to make communication between Chittagong and Cox’s Bazar easier by reducing traffic congestion on two bridges over the Karnaphuli River.