On October 28, the Bangabandhu Tunnel, constructed by CCCC, was officially opened to traffic. This tunnel has significantly reduced travel time across the Karnaphuli River, cutting it down from 3 hours to just 20 minutes, thereby bolstering Chittagong as the economic capital of Bangladesh.
Originally known as the Karnaphuli Tunnel, the Bangabandhu Tunnel is a flagship project under the Belt and Road Initiative. It represents Bangladesh's first-ever underwater shield tunnel.
Situated at the mouth of the Karnaphuli River in Chittagong, the tunnel passes beneath the river, connecting the eastern and western banks of Chittagong. Designed and constructed in accordance with Chinese standards, the tunnel spans a total length of 9.3 kilometers.
The excavation utilized a tunnel-boring machine independently designed by CCCC, marking the first time a Chinese large-diameter shield tunnel-boring machine has been used overseas. The tunnel features two tubes, each with four lanes, a length of 2,450 meters, and an 11.8-meter diameter. The excavation diameter of the tunnel-boring machine is 12.16 meters, which has a length of 94 meters and a weight exceeding 2,200 tons.
All the tunnel segments used in the project were pre-fabricated uniformly by CRBC, filling a gap in the export market for large-diameter tunnel segments. More than 20,000 segments were manufactured, with each weighing nearly 12 tons. The segment production employed a new intelligent assembly line, ensuring automated and efficient production.
The project placed a strong emphasis on the training of specialized personnel for large-diameter shield tunnel construction. Various training programs were implemented, and 21 technical experts in the field of shield tunnel construction from both China and abroad were invited to instruct, benefiting over 500 trainees. The project also organized exchange activities and seminars for young talents. In total, it has trained more than 1,500 skilled workers, fostered over 60 outstanding personnel in technical and managerial roles, with local staff member Jessie receiving the China-Bangladesh Ambassador Friendship Award.
The opening of this tunnel will provide the people of Bangladesh with a fast and comfortable transportation and further advance the economic and social development of Bangladesh.