IDB to Fund Padma Bridge Project in Bangladesh

The Islamic Development Bank has approved a $140m loan to Bangladesh for the construction of the $3bn Padma Bridge project, which will become the longest bridge in the country.

The 6.15km bridge will connect the country's 19 south-western districts with the capital, Dhaka.

The government will soon float tenders for the main package, river training and Mawa approach road with a submission deadline of 30 June this year.

It expects to complete the construction of the bridge by January 2014, according to

Upon completion, the bridge will cut the travel times between Dhaka and Khulna to three hours from the current 12 hours.

Bangladesh secured $1.12bn from the World Bank in April and $300m additional loan assurance from the lender.

The country has also secured $415m from Japan International Cooperation Agency and expected to get $615m from Asian Development Bank next month.