It is uncertain if passengers to and from Jashore will benefit from the Padma Bridge, but businessmen there are hopeful that agriculture in the district and external trades through the Benapole land port will benefit the most.
Currently, buses from the country's south-western district pick passengers further from Magura and cross the mighty Padma by ferries en route to the capital.
"It has not been decided yet whether we would continue passenger services via the ferry route, or take the Padma Bridge," said Pabitra Kapuria, owner of Eagle Paribahan in Jashore.
However, the bridge will allow people with cars to drive directly to the capital in just four hours, which now takes up to 12 hours thanks to the lengthy ferry service over the Padma.
Vegetable growers, florists and fish hatcheries say they will take the bridge instead of the current ferry route to send agri produce to the capital swiftly.
"The bridge will revolutionise economic activities in Jashore. Imports and exports to India through Benapole land port will also gain momentum," Shahidul Islam Milon, former president of the Jashore Chamber of Commerce and Industry, told The Business Standard.
Jashore, often dubbed the flower capital of Bangladesh, grows flowers on around 1,200 hectares of land every year. The district's florists register Tk400 crore annual transactions, as the produce are mainly sent to Dhaka market.
"Now florists do not get good rates as flowers often lose the vibrant colours and freshness after reaching the market," said Abdur Rahim, central president of the Bangladesh Flower Society. He added that the bridge will lessen the field-to-market transport time by at least two and a half hours, which will eventually help the farmers get better prices.
Vegetable grower Mubarak Hossain now sends his yields to Dhaka by truck. If there is a tailback at the ferry terminal, the vegetable-laden vehicles have to wait. The bridge will save the long journey for farmers like him, and enable them to market fresh produce in Dhaka and other major cities.
Fish hatcheries, another thriving agri sub-sector in Jashore, are also excited about the opening of the bridge.
Firoz Khan, president of Jashore Hatchery Owners' Association, said, "Many fries would die en route to Dhaka due to heat and the long journey. The bridge will save our time and reduce the risk of loss."
MR Khairul Umam, former president of the Institution of Diploma Engineers, Bangladesh, said the people of Khulna and Bagerhat district would benefit more from the Padma Bridge compared to Jashore.
He said the bridge, however, will be the lynchpin for regional industrialisation and employment in future.
"Easier communication is going to have a positive impact on the overall economy of the country. Certainly, the country's GDP will grow by a large margin thanks to the bridge," said Prof Md Anwar Hossain, vice-chancellor at the Jashore University of Science and Technology (JUST).