Bangladesh Railway (BR) has finally agreed to change the design of Padma Bridge Rail Link (PBRL) project by readjusting and reconstructing some of its piers for getting required vertical and horizontal clearance.
Railway Minister Mohammad Nurul Islam Sujon said BR will now change, revise and readjust the design of the piers as per requirements of the Bangladesh Bridge Authority (BBA).
"We will do whatever reconstruction or review will be needed. We will follow the BBA advice," he told the FE over phone.
He said there is no problem at Janjira point but the design of piers at Mawa point needs to be readjusted for meeting the requirements of the BBA.
Sources said the BR will have to reconstruct at least three to four piers to get the required clearance from the BBA.
The BBA, the executing agency of the main road-cum-rail bridge project, on Thursday rejected the revised design the state-owned rail track developer shared after last week.
The BR modified the under-construction piers vertically on both sides of the country's longest bridge according to geometric design standards manual 2005 Roads and Highways Department. But it failed to meet required level of horizontal gap in the modified design.
The BBA, few months ago, forced the BR to stop the pile works of the piers located on both sides of approach roads of the Padma Bridge.
Following a high-level meeting and visit to the spot, the BR finally agreed to change the design and submitted it with certain modifications. But that did not fully meet the BBA's requirements.
BR sources said the revised design was prepared in consultation with Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET) and PBRL consultants.
But the BBA stuck to its demand for meeting the standards.
Bridge Division Secretary Mohammad Belayet Hossain told the FE that height related problems between the two projects have been resolved finally after through consultation with the railway secretary.
"They (BR) will agree to follow fully the standards as the PM has also directed to do whatever is needed to resolve the clearance problem."
The BBA has been constructing the road-cum-rail bridge under a Tk 300 billion Padma Multipurpose Bridge (PMB) project since 2016.
The BR is responsible for developing 215.22-km rail track on both sides of the bridge under a Tk 400 billion project which started in late 2018.
The two fast-track projects taken up by the BBA and the BR are being implemented by two Chinese companies -- China Rail Group and China Major Bridge. CMB is a sister concern of CRG.