The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved an additional funding of $1.2bn for the second phase upgrade of the Dhaka-Northwest international trade corridor in Bangladesh.
Since 1994, ADB has been involved with the development of the corridor.
Under the second phase, the funding will be used to upgrade the 190km section from Elenga through Hatikurul to Rangpur.
Road operation and management will also be strengthened as part of the project, along with the addition of necessary footbridges, footpaths and lanes to facilitate traffic movement.
ADB South Asia Department Project Administration unit head Dong Kyu Lee said: “Bangladesh has good prospects of becoming a regional trade hub, if the country’s transport infrastructure can be improved to bring down transport costs and make the sector more competitive.
“To further these aims, the project is expected to significantly boost trade and prosperity along the trade corridor route, the second busiest artery in the country.”
In 2012, the bank approved a loan of $198m for the first phase of the international road corridor project. In this phase, the road capacity on the 70km Joydeypur-Elenga section of the trade corridor was increased.
The funding was also used to improve the operational efficiency of Burimari and Benapole, the two land-based ports connecting Bhutan and India respectively.
"To further these aims, the project is expected to significantly boost trade and prosperity along the trade corridor route, the second busiest artery in the country."
The total cost of the project is $1.67bn, of which $472.6m will be provided by the Bangladesh Government.
ADB will deliver the financial assistance through a multitranche financing facility.
The first tranche will include a regular loan of $250m and a concessional loan of $50m.
Scheduled to be carried out over a period of ten years, the project is expected to be completed by August 2027.