Infrastructure: The Kamji Bridge, which was built after the road was washed away last monsoon, will be removed and replaced by road.

The bridge is located 22.4 kms from Phuentsholing towards Thimphu.

Project DANTAK officials announced this at a coordination meeting with the representatives from the Royal Bhutan Police (RBP), Road Safety & Transport Authority (RSTA), and truckers’ committee.

However, to complete the task, heavy vehicles will have to divert their route via Pasakha bypass starting February 3. Project DANTAK will take time of 10 days to open the Kamji road for these vehicles.

During the meeting yesterday, it was decided that only light vehicles and coaster buses ferrying passengers would be allowed to travel via Kamji.

At present, heavy vehicles with load of more than 18 metric tonnes (MT) are not allowed to pass via Kamji. They have to travel about 50km via Pasakha to reach Gedu and then to travel beyond.

However, Pasakha route also does not allow vehicles with more than 24MT because of the Singye Birdge’s capacity. With the road opened for traffic, trucks carrying heavy equipment more than 24MT would be able to travel via Kamji after February 15.

Mangdechhu Hydropower Project will also benefit from this road, as heavy equipment could not be transported from Phuentsholing since last summer after more than 200-metre road portion was washed away due to heavy rain. The existing double bailey bridge was then constructed as a temporary measure.

Project DANTAK’s Commander Col NA Chaudhary said that this proposition was also discussed between Chief of Police and Project DANTAK chief engineer in Thimphu. It was decided to open road for heavier traffic of class 70-load specification, which means traffic for those vehicles carrying up to 70MT or more.

“However, the existing bridge with 18MT has to be de-launched,” Commander NA Chaudhary said.

Considering the Pasakha bypass road condition, the chief regional transport officer with RSTA, Karchung, also asked Project DANTAK about possibility of reopening the road for traffic at Kamji within 10 days.

Project DANTAK officials said 10 days was required in order to maintain a respectable work, safety, and quality. Pasakha road condition is also manageable, it was concluded.

At present, RBP team has been managing and monitoring both the points at Kamji and Singye River bridge at Pasakha. They will continue to monitor until the task is completed.

Rajesh Rai | Phuentsholing