The Bangladesh Bridge Authority says that Padma Bridge has earned about Tk 525.5 million in tolls in the first 20 days since it was opened to traffic, reports bdnews24.com.
Officials involved in the project also say that the lower level of the bridge, to be used for rail lines, will be turned over to rail authorities on Sunday.
A total of 450,312 vehicles crossed the bridge in the first 20 days, according to Mahmudur Rahman, executive engineer of the Padma Bridge Site Office.
"There was a rush during Eid, but we were able to handle it," engineer Mahmudur added. "Now the traffic has returned to normal. The Korea Expressway Corporation will install an upgraded system for toll collection by December."
"After that, our capacity will expand and the toll collection process will speed up. Currently, we can process about 1,000-1,200 vehicles. This will increase."
The rail track for the Padma Bridge will be laid while the bridge is still open to road traffic, according to Dewan Md Abdul Kader, an executive director on the bridge project.
The decision was taken at a meeting with the bridge authority and engineers from Bangladesh and abroad at the Service Area No. 1 Conference Room on the Mawa end of the bridge on Saturday.
"The rail track will be laid from both ends of the bridge at the same time," said Brigadier Abu Sayeed, project manager of the Mawa Rail Link Project. The 6.15 km-long bridge connecting Dhaka to the southern districts was inaugurated on Jun 25. The rail link on the bridge is scheduled to open next year.
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