The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a $615m loan to Bangladesh to construct a multipurpose bridge across the Padma River.
The $2.92bn bridge is the first fixed river crossing for road traffic, linking the southwest of the country, to northern and eastern regions and will also form part of the proposed Asian Highway route to connect Asia to Europe.
The work will include the construction of a 6km long two-level steel truss bridge, with a four-lane highway and a lower deck with a single track railway to be added in future.
About 12km of approach roads, with toll plazas and service areas will also be built, while dredging and river bank protection will also be carried out.
The World Bank, Japan International Cooperation Agency and Islamic Development Bank are also providing funding towards the project.
The Bangladesh Bridge Authority is the executing agency for the project, which is due for completion in December 2015.