Dhaka-Ashulia Elevated Expressway: Huge interchange to keep traffic flowing

DailyStar || Shining BD

Published: 3/7/2024 8:00:29 AM
The design of Baipail Trumpet Interchange Source: Project Authority

The design of Baipail Trumpet Interchange Source: Project Authority

The authority of Dhaka-Ashulia Elevated Expressway Project is going to build an interchange for smoother traffic movement at Baipail where three major roads meet.


An interchange, also known as a grade-separated junction, is a set of roads usually designed on several levels. It allows vehicles to move from one highway to another without having to stop.

The decision to build the 2km-long interchange was made as the 24km elevated expressway project recently picked up pace.

The elevated expressway is being built between Dhaka EPZ area and the airport under a Tk 17,553 crore project. Physical work of the China-funded project started in November 2022, and as of last month,  it made just 20 percent progress.

Officials say the project is still facing some challenges as the authority could not hand over the land required for the construction to the contractor and move some of the utility lines away from the project area.

The design change needed for the interchange is likely to increase the project cost by Tk 500 crore, sources said. Meeting the June 2026 deadline will also be a challenge for the authority, according to them.

The expressway will connect Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport with Abdullahpur, Ashulia, Baipail and Dhaka Export Processing Zone on the Nabinagar-Chandra highway. Motorists will have to pay tolls to use it.

It will allow people from 30 districts to enter and exit the capital quickly and easily. There will be 14 ramps with a combined length of 10km. As per project documents, the expressway is expected to boost the country's gross domestic product by 0.21 percent.

Another expressway called Dhaka Elevated Expressway is being constructed to connect the airport to Dhaka-Chattogram highway at Kutubkhali. A section of it opened to traffic last year.

Once the two elevated expressways are fully operational, people from the country's northern, western and south-western regions will be able to avoid the capital's traffic as they will go from one side of the city to another without having to use the city streets.

The project, which was originally supposed to be complete within June 2022 at a cost of Tk 16,901 crore, is being implemented under a government-to-government initiative between Bangladesh and China. It was delayed as Chinese authorities took longer to approve it. The delay resulted in a Tk 652 crore increase in costs.

China National Machinery Import and Export Corporation (CMC), the main contractor, is have the work done through three Chinese sub-contractors. The project is being implemented by the Bangladesh Bridge Authority.


Sabuj Uddin Khan, additional chief engineer (Dhaka zone) of Roads and Highways Department, said the recommendation to build an interchange was made because the design was incomplete.

Project Director Shahabuddin Khan said the interchange at Baipail will ensure seamless traffic movement in all three directions.

He said the interchange would be built one layer over the elevated expressway.

Currently, a vehicle from a northern district can enter Dhaka either through Baipail-Nabinagar-Savar-Gabtoli Road or the Baipail-Ashulia-Abdullahpur-Uttara Road.

Secretaries of both the bridges division and the road transport and highways division recently approved in principle the design of the interchange, Shahabuddin said.

Engineers are still working on the details of the design and its possible cost is being estimated, he told The Daily Star yesterday.

He said the authorities were supposed to build two flyovers at Nabinagar at a cost of Tk 370 crore under the project, but dropped the plan following the RHD's request.

Shahabuddin said the interchange may increase the project cost.

Once the design of the interchange is complete, a revision of the project will be sought, he added.


When this correspondent visited the project site in October last year, officials of SMC, the contractor, said the whole project was affected by the utility lines over and underground.

Delays are also resulting from resettlement of residents of the project site.

Asked, PD Shahabuddin said the project area is an industrial area and the authorities shift power lines, halting the supply only one day a week. He added that around 80 percent of the lines have been relocated.

As per a progress report, 1,417 out of 3,091 persons affected by the project have received compensation.

Around 85 percent of the land required for the project has been acquired, Shahabuddin said, adding that he was hopeful of completing the project within 2026.

Shining BD