Almost two years after the construction began the Dungsamchu bridge in Samdrupjongkhar is now completed.

The company that built the bridge is waiting for the drawing of the approach road to be finalised and approved. Project manager, Gopal Yadav, said they are hoping to get the drawing approved soon.

He said that unlike other approach roads, the bridge approach road is the reinforced soil embankment (RSE) wall, which will be built using gabion boxes. “Since it’s a new technology wall, it will take time to get the drawings approved.”

Project DANTAK’s chief engineer, Brigadier A.K Ramesh, said they have sent the design report to the higher authority for approval as the report has some changes.

“We will ask the contractor to start the works once it gets approved,” the chief engineer said.

Once the drawing gets approved, the company’s proprietor, Mohan Bajaj, said they expect to complete the works within two months.

The roller compacted concrete (RCC) bridge was supposed to complete by April this year. The construction of the 50-meter span bridge began in July 2016.

Gopal Yadav said they could not complete the bridge on time because although the contract was signed in February 2016, the actual work began only from July, as they had to mobilise labourers and procure materials.

He said they spent almost four months to construct the foundation, which runs 13ms deep with six meters tall wall above the foundation.

Gopal Yadav said the flash flood on April 25 last year affected the entire foundation after the rainwater filled the foundation area. “Otherwise, we had completed almost 50 percent of the foundation work and the work was going smoothly,” he said.

The 110 metric tonnes capacity bridge will also have two pedestrian footpaths and double lanes. The Government of India is funding Nu 50.97 million (M) for the bridge and approach road construction.

Construction of the new bridge began after the residents raised concerns that the existing Dungsamchu bridge was narrow for heavy vehicles. Vehicles carrying high loads have to unload and reload on the other side of the existing bridge since the height of the beams were relatively low.

Kelzang Wangchuk | Samdrupjongkhar