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Essay : Bangladesh in Expressway Era

Transportation acts like vain of development process. A nation cannot reach its prospected development goals without free and uninterrupted flow of goods and services. Civilization flourished relying on easy and affordable transportation means. Many nations have devised many ingenious ways in overcoming traffic congestion and free expressway is one of them. 55 Kilometer long Dhaka-Bhanga Expressway or Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Expressway is the first expressway in our country inaugurated in March 2020. Since then we saw a revolution in expressway transportation. This paper will define expressway briefly and give a picture of expressway projects of Bangladesh.

Elevated Express High Way

Expressway :

An expressway is a high-speed, controlled-access road designed for rapid traffic flow. It’s a type of highway characterized by features that allow faster and more efficient transportation compared to regular roads.

Here are some key characteristics of an expressway :

  • Limited Access : Access to an expressway is typically controlled, meaning that is has designated entry and exit points. There points are usually in the farm of ramps or interchanges.
  • No At-Grade Crossings : Unlike regular road, an expressway does not have intersections or crossroads at the same leave as the road. Instead, then use ramps or overpasses for access and exit.
  • Higher Speed Limits : Expressways often have higher speed limits compared to local roads.
  • Divided Lanes : An expressway usually has separate lanes for traffic going in opposite directions, with some form of a barrier (like a median) between them.
  • Designed for Long-Distance Travel : Expressways are intended for long-distance travel between cities or major destinations. They are designed to facilitate efficient, high-speed transportation.
  • Safety Features : They offen have safety features like guardrails, lighting, and improved signage to enhance driver safety.

Higher Capacity :

Expressways are built to handle a large volume of traffic compared to local roads.

On the other hand, an elevated expressway is a type of highway or roadway that is built above the ground on elevated supports, such as pillars or columns. Elevated expressways are typically constructed in densely populated urban areas or in places where there are geographical constraints like rivers, lakes, or hills. They are often used to alleviate traffic congestion by providing an uninterrupted, high-speed route through congested areas.

History of Expressway :

In 1924 Italy began the construction of toll motor highways, or autostrade which totaled 515km in length. The first true express highways, the autobahns, were built in Germany by the Nazi regime for both economic and military purposes. Then Netherland and USA followed in building expressways for convenient transportation. A first elevated railway in the late 19th century was built in New York City. Then The Miller Highway, named after its chief proponent, Borough President Julius Miller, was constructed in New York in 1937, and became the world’s first elevated highway. Then Boston’s Central Artery and the Pulaski Skyway, and Moses’ own Gowanus Parkway were built shortly after.

Expressway in Bangladesh :

As a consequence of emerging economy lots of industries and factories are built in Bangladesh centering the city areas. Dhaka has been ranked as the slowest city in the top ten. Evaluating this emerging situation government realized the necessity of free and fast passage for vehicles and launched some projects of building expressways. In the following those projects have been mentioned briefly.

Dhaka-Ashulia Elevated Expressway :

The Dhaka-Ashulia Elevated Expressway Project (DAEEP) is envisaged to be a part of Asian Highway route in Bangladesh. The Project was approved by the Executive committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) on 24 October 2017. An integral part of the project is connection to the 19.7 km long Dhaka Elevated Expressway Project (DEEP). Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on 12 November 2022 laid the foundation stone for the Dhaka-Ashulia Elevated Expressway Project (DAEEP), Officially beginning the construction phase of the mega project, 40 million people in 30 districts will benefit once it is completed in 2026.

Purbachal Expressway :

Purbachal Expressway or Sheikh Hasina Avenue connects the Dhaka-Sylhet Highway with the capital. There are no traffic signals on the 12.5 km expressway, which has up to 14 lanes. A 5.54 km stretch of the 12.5 km expressway, from the capital’s Kuril area to the Balu River, is constructed with 14 lanes. Of these 14 lanes, eight are part of the main expressway, while the remaining six lanes are service roads for the movement of local vehicles. 6.76 km stretch from Balu river to kanchon has 12 lanes. To preclude waterlogging wide canals are dug on both sides. There are also 13 arched bridges, like the ones in Hatirjheel.

Length : 12.5 km
Approved by ECNEC : 22 September 2015
Being constructed by : The Bangladesh Army’s 24 Engineer Construction Brigade
Estimated cost : The overall cost is Tk 103.30 billion (10,330 Crore) including the cost of additional canals roads and bridges.

Chittagong Elevated Expressway :

Chittagong Elevated Expressway or Mayor Mohiuddin Chowdhury Expressway is Bangladesh’s second elevated expressway project, which will connect the Shah Amanat Airport with Lalkhan Bazaar. On 14 November 2023 a section from Patenga to Tigerpas was inaugurated for public transportation. Construction of 14 ramps and remaining Tigerpass-Lalkhan Bazar Section is continuing. The Chattogram Development Authority (CDA) took up this project. The project is initiated in January 2018. The aim is to improve connectivity between Chattogram city and south Chattogram districts.

Length : 16 km long (28.5 km with the connecting ramps)
Width : 16.5 meters
Cost : Initial budget was Tk3,250 crore, but later revised to Tk4,298 crore
Approved by ECNEC : 11 July 2017.

Conclusion :

The idea of expressway has revolutionized transportation system. In modern city life expressways are inseparable part in enhancing beauty and comfort to the inhabitant. World most advanced cities are now decorated with sophisticated expressway network hat not only bring ease in city life but create more aesthetic value.

Dhaka Elevated Expressway
The Dhaka Elevated Expressway stands as Bangladesh’s first inaugural elevated expressway. This monumental infrastructure initiative, undertaken by the current administration, represents as significant efforts to mitigate traffic congestion in the capital. On September 2, 2023, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina formally unveiled the Airport-Farmgate segment of the Dhaka Elevated Expressway. She led a procession that paid a toll of Tk 2,000 for 25 vehicles. Commuters expressed their delight at being able to traverse that distance between Kawla and Farmgate in just 10 minutes, achieving speeds of up to 60 km per hour. In September 2, 2023, the 11.5 km Airport-Farmgate section of the expressway has been successfully completed and is now operational, after construction began on April 30, 2011.

FACT FILE
Name of the project : Dhaka Elevated Express
Route : Kawla to Qutubkhali along the Dhaka-Chittagong highway, encompassing key areas like Kuril, Banani, Mohakhali, Tejgaon, Moghbazar, Kamalapur, Sayedabad, and Jatrabari.
Project Manager : First Dhaka Elevated Expressway Company
Treaty with Italian Thai Development Public Company : 19 January 2011.
Investing Institute : First Dhaka Elevated Expressway (FDEE) Company
Approved by ECNEC : 20 July 2011
Laying foundation : 30 November 2011
Inauguration of construction : 16 August 2015
Ramps : 31 (length – 27km)
Length of main Elevated portion : 19.73km
Total length including ramps : 45.73km
Total lane : 4
Regulatory authority : Bangladesh Bridge Authority (BBA)
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