DANTAK: The first bridge on the 59km Damchu-Chukha highway opened to traffic yesterday.

The chief guest at the occasion, works and human settlement minister Dorji Choden said construction of roads is a top priority for her ministry in the 11th Plan.

She said the bridge was an important link for daily travel on the busy highway. About 3,000 vehicles ply the highway everyday.

The construction of the bridge started in October 2013 and was completed at a cost of Nu 41.8 million.

Project DANTAK built the 55metre pre-stressed concrete bridge without engaging any contractors.

Of the four bridges on the Damchu-Chukha bypass, another one, a 30m-concrete bridge over the Sirupachu, would be opened to traffic at the end of this year, according to Project DANTAK Chief Engineer KC Panchanathan.

The construction of other two bridges is expected to be complete by October next year. Initially five bridges were planned on the bypass, which was later dropped to three, after converting the two to culverts.

The chief engineer dedicated the bridge to the celebrations of the 60th birth anniversary of the Fourth Druk Gyalpo.