His Holiness the Je Khenpo inaugurated the Dungsamchu bridge near Samdrupjongkhar Primary School and officially opened it to traffic on December 24.

The bridge would serve as a bypass for travellers and help ease traffic congestion along the highway.

Construction Development Corporation Limited (CDCL) built the bridge worth about Nu 80 Million.

Samdrupjongkhar thromde’s engineer, Pema Choki, said the bridge was made more user-friendly with cycling path, footpaths, streetlights and other amenities along the road.

She said the bridge would serve as an important landmark for Samdrupjongkhar as it is the first of its kind.

“The bridge would help divert the trucks as they create a disturbance when there are visitors,” Pema Choki said.

The bridge would also shorten the route from Samdrupjongkhar town to the checkpoint along the Samdrupjongkhar-Trashigang highway by about 1.5 kilometres. The bridge is also expected to ease traffic along the highway and reduce sound pollution in Local Area Plan (LAP) 4.

Pema Choki said the bridge completion got delayed due to flooding in monsoon, as they faced difficulty in retrieving the hanger cable. It also took time to shift the water pipeline and electric cables, which was not found before the foundation was laid.

The bridge construction began in September 2016 and was completed in two years.

Kelzang Wangchuk  | Samdrupjongkhar