The Bangladesh Bridge Authority (BBA) has constructed some pillars of the Padma bridge even before confirmation of the entire bridge design just to make up for the time loss.
The contractor has already been six months behind the schedule with the work in the absence of trial piling and load tests for some other pillars, according to sources.
They said the Padma Multipurpose Bridge Project office under the BBA had told the Chinese contractor to construct those pillars, designs for which were confirmed.
The decision came when the confirmation of designs for other pillars would take more time.
All the pillars on the Janjira side and two pillars of the main bridge have been completed after the project office had given the go-ahead, sources said.
Trial piling and load tests for the other pillars on the Mawa side still could not be conducted.
The China Major Bridge Engineering Ltd, the Chinese company which won the Tk 280 billion (28,000 crore) project's main bridge construction work, has been finding it hard to conduct the load tests since January, as the soil at some points has been found more sandy than expected by the consultants.
To address the problem the panel of experts of the project sat with the contractor regularly and guided the latter to go for other possible options.
Still the design of the entire Padma bridge could not be confirmed due to the failure to conduct load tests at some points.
"We have given the decision to carry out the piling and construction work on the pillars, for which the load test results were confirmed, after being sure it is safe," Project Director Shafiqul Islam told the FE.
When his comment was sought about the risk of giving the decision before confirmation of the entire design, the PD said it was done based on review of advice and recommendations from experts.
Project office sources said despite the order, construction of the 6.15 kilometre bridge could not be started in full swing, as it was the rainy season.
However, the PD said the progress was satisfactory as 35.5 per cent physical work was completed.
The steel-truss composite-made Padma Multipurpose bridge is scheduled to be opened to traffic by 2018. It will have a four-lane road bridge on the top and a single-track railway line at the bottom.
The bridge will stand on a total of 42 pillars, each having six piles beneath. Steel spans will be placed on the pillars.
The project office said, out of 41 spans, two already reached the site while more were expected to get there every month.