Nine years after the construction began, Amochhu bridge that will connect Phuentsholing and Samtse internally is expected to complete by June 15.

Department of roads (DoR) officials in Phuentsholing say if weather permits, they are confident the construction would complete on time.

The bridge was expected to launch in March but missed the deadline.

The construction of the 175-metre bridge started in April 2009. 

Today, works such as decking, footpath construction, and painting have completed. 

Chief engineer with DoR, Dorji Wangdi, said only blacktopping and electrification works are left.

“We are expecting to complete by June 15,” the chief engineer said. “But it will again depend on the weather.”

If it rains continuously, the bridge may not complete by June 15, Dorji Wangdi said. “If weather favours, the works can even be completed in a week’s time but it has already started to rain.”

It will take Nu 1.6 million (M) to blacktop the 250 metres length and the approach roads.

Since it was a small project, contractors were not willing to work, DoR officials said. Contractors do not take such jobs because the cost of establishment for mobilisation and demobilisation of equipment is huge.

Dorji Wangdi said for bridge lighting, cables have already been laid. The posts have to be erected now.

“These posts are available only in Kolkata,” he said, adding procuring them took time.

He also said that the works for both blacktopping and electrification are targeted for completion by mid-June. Works will begin next week.

“But we are working in harsh weather conditions,” Dorji Wangdi said. 

The semi-through type steel arch bridge was first scheduled to complete in September 2011. To date, it has missed about six deadlines. 

Once complete, the bridge would be the longest permanent (concrete) bridge in the country and will link the 58km Phuentsholing – Samtse highway. 

The bridge connects Purbey on Phuentsholing side and Tading gewog in Samtse. It would also connect Dorokha, Dumtey, Denchukha, Dumtey, and Haa to Phuentsholing.

Rajesh Rai | Phuentsholing