Set to be Asia’s longest coastal road, Sujay Sujatharan, SMEC Project Manager (DMMRP & Marine Drive) speaks at the stakeholder workshop for Marine Drive Expressway.

Together with our client (Bangladesh Roads and Highways Department, RHD, for the Chattogram Zone) SMEC’s team in Bangladesh, along with local subsidiary ACE, recently organised and co-hosted a stakeholder workshop for The Marine Drive Expressway Project.

Spanning approximately 190 kilometres, Marine Drive Expressway will connect the Chattogram Division’s special economic zone (SEZ), outer ring road, port city, and Karnaphuli tunnel.

Conceived by the Bangladeshi government to mitigate the impending transport crisis and integrate the nation’s economic corridors, Marine Drive Expressway will connect parts of the land to the road network for the first time.

Our team has completed the project’s feasibility study, and is now progressing to preliminary design, including environmental and social assessment.

The expressway’s preliminary design features two dedicated freight traffic lanes; 4 fast lanes; 10 interchanges (with rest areas at 50 kilometre intervals); and numerous drainage structures. It also features bridges, culverts, coastal protection, and other hydraulic fixtures.

SMEC’s traffic model forecast for the project was greatly appreciated by the client, and new technologies (including drone based topographic surveys, web-based GIS, and a 3D visualisation of the route’s engineering design) have expedited project integration.

Bangladesh’s Chattogram Division (comprising Chattogram city and Cox’s bazar) is an attractive destination for setting up industrial and commercial enterprises. Currently there are several national priority infrastructure projects along the corridor including four new economic zones; two new ports; an international airport; two new tourism zones; and multiple developments along the coast.

The Marine Drive Expressway stakeholder workshop featured an interactive Q+A session led by Mr. Abdul Wahid (Additional Chief Engineer and Project Director, RHD) and Sujay Sujatharan (Project Manager, SMEC) which sought feedback on the expressway’s proposed alignment and presented the project’s viability.

Workshop attendees included Bangladesh Army’s 24th and 10th infantry divisions, representatives from government’s Economic Zones; Fish Inspection and Quality Control Department; Coast Guards; Navy; Water Development Board; and Ship Breakers Association; along with delegates from Chittagong and Cox’s Bazar development authorities.