… contractor also trying to complete Diana bridge before deadline

Rajesh Rai | Samtse

Dhamdum bridge in Samtse is expected to complete next month, about six months ahead of the deadline in March 2023, the contractor said.

The 170-metre RCC bridge is one of the two important bridges that link Samtse dzongkhag headquarters with nine of its 15 gewogs.

The feat accomplished could be something rare considering how most constructions are struggling after the Covid-19 pandemic’s impact.

The contractor, Rigsar Construction Private Limited (RCPL), took it up as a “design and build” with a designing consultant, Gyaltshen Consultancy at a cost of Nu 141 million (M).

With the completion of blacktopping today, 99 percent of the work is done.

Rigsar construction’s project manager, Karma Tenzin said they started the work on February 9, 2021. “After the blacktop works, we will be left with light installation and some painting work only.”

Karma Tenzin said they continued working even during the pandemic in containment mode. They hired local workers to meet the shortage after the government stopped the import of foreign workers. The project came to a complete halt when there was a complete nationwide lockdown.

Diana bridge: Construction of the new bridge is underway on the right side below

Department of roads (DoR) chief engineer, Karma Dorji said that the reinforced cement concrete (RCC) bridge has a 70R capacity, which is equivalent or more than 70 metric tonnes (MT).

“It is a very important link for the gewogs in the western parts of Samtse,” he said, adding the increased carrying capacity will bring many economic benefits. “And it will be completed ahead of time.”

Dhamdum river is diverted to Buduney river and the vehicles ply on the temporary road on the dry riverbed. The new bridge also has pedestrian walkways on both sides.

Diana Bridge 

The new Diana bridge is also under construction. It is another important link that connects Samtse town to nine gewogs.

The existing 300-metre suspension bailey bridge is the longest in the dzongkhag but it is an old bridge. It is being replaced with a 280-metre RCC bridge at a cost of Nu 191M. Its construction started on August 28, 2021.

“We have completed 42 percent of the construction and the deadline is December 2024,” Karma Tenzin said. “We’re planning to complete it by December 2023.”

Diana bridge will have only one pedestrian walkway. It can carry 70MT.

There are more than five bridges along the highway between Norbugang town and Norgaygang gewog, and most of them have a low carrying capacity.