Thursday, July 18, 2024

U-loop to take care of Kanchpur chaos

Ministry goes for it to ease gridlocks on Sylhet, Ctg highways
The communications ministry has finally chosen U-loop as an easy option to solve gridlock on the Kanchpur Bridge leading to Sylhet and Chittagong highways.
Though experts prescribed the scheme two years back, officials of the communications ministry and roads and highways department (RHD) realised its importance recently.
The RHD is now preparing the tender document of one U-loop to be constructed under the bridge with an estimated cost of Tk 2 crore. The fund will come from the maintenance budget of the RHD.
The RHD officials are also working to figure out the construction cost of another U-loop on the eastern part of the bridge leading to Chittagong highway, said Arifur Rahman, superintendent engineer, Dhaka zone, of RHD.
Experts find the two-way signalling system at the junction of Dhaka, Chittagong and Sylhet roads on the eastern part of the bridge, which is around 8 km from the capital, the main reason behind the tailback.
Hundreds of passenger buses, goods-laden trucks and other vehicles from all directions face gridlock while crossing the junction every day.
“The two U-loops can be constructed within six months to ensure uninterrupted signal-free traffic flow in every direction,” Md Shamsul Hoque, professor of civil engineering department at Buet, told The Daily Star.
He said vehicles coming from Chittagong and taking right-turn for Sylhet halt traffics from Dhaka to Chittagong and Sylhet to Dhaka at the junction. The same way, traffics on Dhaka-Chittagong road remain halted when vehicles from Sylhet take right-turn towards Dhaka.
According to a study of the Buet expert, two-thirds of the total vehicles remain stranded due to the two right-turns.
He said Sylhet-bound vehicles from Chittagong, Comilla and Narayanganj will be able to take right-turn if the U-loop is constructed under the bridge.
Another U-loop could be on the Chittagong road several hundred metres off the junction for the vehicles coming from Sylhet and heading for the capital. This will make sure that the vehicles either going to Dhaka from Chittagong and vice versa can move unhindered, he added.
“Once the loops are opened, vehicles don’t have to wait for long while crossing the junction,” said Prof Shamsul, urging the government to immediately construct the loops.
He said passengers coming from Sylhet and Chittagong often face the gridlock and waste their valuable hours and fuel. Vehicles heading towards Dhaka from Chittagong, Sylhet, Comilla also face gridlock on the Kanchpur bridge.
There are already two U-loops on the western part of the bridge to ease traffic movement.
The average daily traffic on the busy highways is about 50,000, according to statistics of the RHD.
Sources in the communications ministry said RHD became active after the armed forces division recently expressed their interest to construct the U-loops in the quickest possible time.
Communications Minister Syed Abul Hossain, who visited the Kanchpur Bridge area in October 2009 to see if the area was really prone to perennial traffic congestion, said moves are already underway to construct the U-loops.
“We have also taken a Tk 120 crore project to turn the four-lane Jatrabari-Kanchpur bridge into a eight-lane one,” he told The Daily Star, adding that the RHD is preparing tender documents in this regard.

 

Courtesy of The Daily Star

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