The 47 meters long Chuzomsa bridge along the Wangdue -Trongsa highway opened to traffic yesterday.

With a carrying capacity of 40 metric tonnes (MT), the new pre-stressed concrete box-girder bridge will replace the existing bridge, which had a carrying capacity of about 24 MT.

The bridge was last of the three to be built under—‘the project for reconstruction of bridges on primary national highway No. 1,’ with grant aid from the Japan International Cooperation Agency.

Ambassador of Japan to Bhutan, Kenji Hiramatsu said that the project reconstructed three old bridges and their connecting roads on the primary national highway number one, which is the principal road connecting the east with western Bhutan. “These bridges are important because they connect other national roads. The Japanese government will continue to cooperate for improvement of basic infrastructure in Bhutan and make all efforts to promote its wide-ranging friendship and cooperation with Bhutan.”

In January this year, two bridges – Nikachu bridge in Sephu, Wangdue and Zalamchu bridge in Tangsibji, Trongsa, along the Wangdue-Trongsa highway opened to traffic under the project.

Works and human settlement minister, Dorji Choden, said that with the completion of Chuzomsa bridge, Bhutan would have a total of 22 bridges on the highways built at a cost of over 8 billion Yen and about Nu 5 billion. “All these bridges form critical links on important highways. It is not only linking highways, but they link people, businesses and bring socio-economic services closer.”

The project received a grant aid of Japanese Yen 1,956 million.

As part of the project, a new footpath leading to Samtengagng village above the highway was also constructed. Earlier, the footpath passed over the hill, which is now parted with the road passing through it.

Bhutan and Japan’s cooperation in the area of bridge began in 1997 with the study on the national highway bridge construction.

Today, project for reconstruction of bridges on primary national highway number four is also under process. This project will replace four existing bridges along the Gelephu-Trongsa highway with permanent bridges that have wider carriageway width and higher load carrying capacity.

The ambassador and works and human settlement minister inaugurated the bridge at Chuzomsa, Wangdue.

Phurpa Lhamo | Wangdue