The event was held at the tunnel site at Chattogram on 26 November 2022, with the official opening expected to take place in early 2023. The Prime Minister joined the celebrations virtually from her official residence, Ganabhaban in Dhaka.
The construction of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Tunnel started back in 2017. SMEC, together with project partners, provided design review and supervision consultancy services. Around 94% construction works of the two tunnels have been completed, with electrical and mechanical work are still in progress.
The two tunnels and approach roads will act as a bypass route for traffic crossing the Karnaphuli River. The river, from its mouth to the port area, is heavily congested with ships and other vessels. The port requires significant heavy transport to move goods to and from the port. The existing two bridges over the Karnaphuli River are already at capacity because of the demand from port traffic. The completion of this important project will result in a significant reduction in congestion for traffic coming from Dhaka heading to the fast developing regions south of the Karnaphuli River, and will provide more incentive for the development of ports and industry to the south of Chattogram. It will also be on benefit to the citizens of Chattogram providing them with a bypass of the congested city and access to the beautiful beaches south of the river.
The Honorable Cabinet Secretary Khandker Anwarul Islam said, “The tunnel will greatly improve the traffic situation in Chittagong and promote the economic development of the country.” He also expressed his heartiest gratitude to SMEC Project Manager Gavin Strid and his team, and that they did a wonderful job. He went on to say that because of the consultant’s sincere efforts, the construction went very smoothly.