Padma Bridge: The Story of Rising Above the Challenges

Everyone knows the history and majesty of The Padma Bridge.But a few can imagine the challenges of Padma Bridge to rise above including technical difficulties, hostile working environment, and inventive problem-solving techniques that end up making the Padma Bridge the most complex project in the world. This article will explore the various challenges faced during the construction of Padma Bridge and highlight the triumphs that had been achieved along the way.
Padma Multipurpose Bridge
Fig: Padma Multipurpose Bridge
Padma Multipurpose Bridge Elevation details
Fig: Padma Multipurpose Bridge Elevation details

Innovative Strategies to Overcome Challenging Subsoil Conditions-

Among the challenges of Padma Bridge, the first was the subsoil conditions. The geology of the Padma bridge is mainly river-borne alluvial silt, sand, and gravel. However, additional GI Investigation revealed a weak cohesive soil layer on the provisional design pile toe level on 22 piers. we used Skin grouting to strengthen the surrounding soil by injecting microfine cement into the soil via the TAM duct system. Furthermore, This technology was introduced for the first time in the world to improve skin friction on piles.

Placement of the longest driven piles in the world

Secondly, the contractors used the most powerful available hydraulic hammers in the world to drive the piles up to a depth of 122 meter (Height of a 30-story building). This longest driven piles in the world was another one among the challenges of Padma Bridge. In addition to these hammers, we used The MENCK MHU 3500S hydraulic hammer, known as the “Gentle Giant”, to drive steel tubular piles at our Padma Bridge. Despite this, three of the five sets of pile drive hammers were damaged, and two of them malfunctioned during operation.

Erection of the longest Steel Truss girder spans in the world 

Thirdly to carry Padma bridges gigantic spans, we brought the world’s largest floating crane, Tian-e. However, the self-weight of each span was 3200t excluding roadway deck. Due to siltation in the construction channel and variable flow conditions in the main river channel, navigating the floating crane to transport the gigantic truss and place it on top of the piers was extremely challenging.

Installation of the largest double curvature frictional pendulum bearings in the world

Fourthly, The frictional pendulum bearings (FPB) used in the Padma Bridge project were designed to withstand an earthquake with a Richter magnitude of 8.5. So,This level of resistance has achieved through a combination of the bearing’s design and the use of high-quality materials in its construction.

First-ever waterproofed bridge built in Bangladesh

Lastly, We used a four layer of waterproofing materials for the Main bridge roadway deck waterproofing. Following that, These layers ensure the deck slab’s long-term performance. Furthermore, the bridge’s waterproofing system was designed to keep water from entering the structure. However, ensuring the bridge’s longevity and 100-year lifespan is critical.

I know this article may be brief and lacking in technical details. It could be difficult for you to digest if you’re not directly involved in the project. However, we have plans to release a series of comprehensive articles in the near future. In addition, it will cover everything from the initial soil investigation to the final stages of superstructure construction. 

Stay tuned for more in-depth information! 

Happy Learning.

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