Bangabandhu Bridge, also called the Jamuna Multi-purpose Bridge , is a bridge opened in Bangladesh in June 1998. It connects Bhuapur on the Jamuna River's east bank to Sirajganj on its west bank. It was the 11th longest bridge in the world when constructed in 1998 and currently the 6th longest bridge in South Asia. It was constructed over the Jamuna River, one of the three major rivers of Bangladesh, and fifth largest in the world in terms of volumetric discharge.
The bridge established a strategic link between the eastern and western parts of Bangladesh. It generates multifarious benefits for the people and especially, promotes inter-regional trade in the country. Apart from quick movement of goods and passenger traffic by road and rail, it facilitated transmission of electricity and natural gas, and integration of telecommunication links. The bridge is located on the Asian Highway and the Trans-Asian Railway which, when fully developed, will provide uninterrupted international road and railway links from South-east Asia through Central Asia to North-west Europe.
The river Jamuna (Brahmaputra), along with the lower stretch of the Padma (Ganges) divides Bangladesh into nearly two equal halves. Until now all road and rail communication between the two parts of the country has had to rely on time-consuming ferry services that were often disrupted because of navigability problems. The need for a bridge over the Jamuna River was felt, especially by the people living in northwestern Bangladesh, for a long time. This perceived need did not go unnoticed by the policy makers. The people and successive governments always longed to bridge the mighty Jamuna and thereby integrate the communication systems of the region.