Infrastructure: Pedestrians and cyclists will soon have their own space along the Thimphu-Babesa expressway.

The thromde has begun building a pedestrian walkway along the Thimchhu this month.

The Thimphu thromde has given the contract to a private construction company. The company is expected to complete the work by December.

The walkway on the side of the river will be constructed first.

Thimphu thromde’s chief engineer, Pekar Rabgay, said that the walkway along the expressway will be user-friendly and serve as a multipurpose pavement for both pedestrians and cyclists.

“Currently there is no separate pedestrian footpath along the expressway and it is dangerous for motorists, cyclists and pedestrians who walk along the expressway,” Pekar Rabgay said.

The construction of the 6km walkway will begin from Lungtenzampa till Babesa zero point.

Thinley Namgay, a businessman, said that use of bicycles as a mode of transportation was encouraged so that there would be fewer vehicles on the road resulting in less traffic congestion.

While people are becoming more health conscious and concerned about the increasing number of motor vehicles in the city, without a separate bike lane on the road, traffic congestion actually gets worse, said Thinley Namgay.

A corporate employee in Thimphu, Jangchub Dema, said that not having a separate bicycle lane makes cyclists vulnerable to accidents so the walkway will definitely benefit motor vehicle drivers, cyclists and pedestrians.

Thinley Namgay said: “The new walkway for pedestrians and cyclists will encourage more people to use the lane which is safer.”

The contract price for the project is about Nu 31.8 million.

Dechen Tshomo