Ongoing excavation works for the foundation

Construction of Omchhu bridge resumes with new design, higher cost

Works to construct a bridge over the Omchhu in Phuentsholing has resumed, eight months after it was stopped.

The bridge construction started in May 2015 but had to be stopped midway due to change in design. The bridge is part of the urban infrastructure development project aimed at decongesting the overcrowd traffic in Phuentsholing. It is located near the Youth Development Fund centre of Phuentsholing where the Omchhu meets the Amochhu.

Nepal-based Tundi Construction Private limited was doing the works for the project worth about Nu 44.46 million (M) in 2015. It was found midway that there was a mismatch in the report about the soil studies. When the design was changed and finalised, the contracting firm could not bear the revised cost and surrendered.

Project manager Anu Pradhan from the project implementation unit said that the foundation works started yesterday.

“The project was awarded in August this year,” she said, adding that all the resource mobilisation works were done. “Today, excavation for foundation has started.”

Meanwhile, the work has been awarded to a Bhutanese contractor M/s Bhutan Builders, as it was tendered through a national competitive bidding process. In 2015, it was an international competitive bidding.

The span of the box girder bridge has also increased to 46.8 metres from 46 metres. The contractor will have 18 months to complete it. The cost has escalated to Nu 75M this time. Anu Pradhan said that the new foundation is an open-well foundation.

Asian Development Bank () is funding 85 percent of the capital as loan, while the remaining 15 percent is borne by the government.

Once complete, this bridge will be the second motor-able bridge over the Omchhu. It would connect the Northern Bypass with the mini-dry port on the left bank with another new bridge near the crocodile conservation farm.

The Northern Bypass would connect the Phuentsholing-Thimphu highway near the RBA area. The bridge at the crocodile farm is also an ADB funded project under South Asia Sub-regional Economic Cooperation.

Rajesh Rai | Phuentsholing

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