Thromde aims to complete overhead bridge by next month

Yangyel Lhaden

Construction of the first  overhead pedestrian bridge in Olakha, Thimphu, which has now become an eyesore for many, will be completed next month.

The overhead bridge construction started in June, last year to reduce road accidents, streamline traffic movement and  for the safety of pedestrians. It was expected to be completed in five months.

A Thimphu thromde official said the pandemic delayed the project.

The structure of the bridge is complete and ornamentation of the bridge with Bhutanese design is in progress. “The completion of the bridge depends on the arrival of ornamentation items which are stuck in Phuntsholing,” a thromde official said.

She said completing the structure of the bridge was a major challenge with difficulty in importing bridge components, lack of skilled labourers and machineries, and heavy traffic on the expressway. “Many Bhutanese workers are scared to work on the overhead bridge.”.

The earthquake resistant 5.4m-high-and-26m long footbridge is a pilot project to be replicated in other areas in thromde where the traffic congestion is high. A thromde official said the thromde switched to overhead pedestrian bridge as the two underpasses along the swimming pool were underutilised.

A resident in Thimphu, Dorji said a roof over the pedestrian bridge would be efficient during rain.

A roof was discussed in the initial planning, but was not finalised as there were concerns of misuse. “Roof provision will be made after monitoring the usage of the footbridge,” a thromde official said.

The construction of the footbridge is a project worth about 3 million.