She expressed this hope in Parliament on Wednesday, a day after awarding the work order to a Chinese company.
“The construction of the Padma bridge will take four years. I hope vehicles will have rolled on the bridge by 2018,” the Prime Minister said in reply to a question by Rustom Ali Faraji, MP, Pirojpur-3.
The 6.15km-long bridge will link capital Dhaka with 21 southern districts, including Pirojpur, by road.
The government says the bridge will help increase the GDP growth rate by 1.2 percent.
China Major Bridge Engineering Company Limited was given the work order on Monday.
Construction would begin this month or in July, Hasina said.
In 2011, the government had signed a deal with the World Bank for project funding. But the global lender raised allegations of graft and the deal fell through.
A year later, the government decided to mobilise internal resources for the construction work.
“We will build the bridge in four years with our own funds,” the Prime Minister said.