Neten Dorji | Trashigang

The Gyalpoizhing-Nganglam highway is expected to reopen to traffic by the end of next week.

The 180ft Bailey bridge over Drangmechhu at the Kuri-Gongri confluence in Mongar collapsed on May 23. The reconstruction is expected to cost Nu 2.8 million.

Department of Surface Transport Chief Engineer in Lingmethang Kinzang Dorji said that they started fixing the bridge about a week ago.

“Around 40 officials are involved at the site including engineers, technicians and labours,” he said. “We completed half the work.”

He said that they collected all emergency bridge parts from nine regional offices.

The bridge’s capacity will be increased to 35 metric tonnes (MT) from 24MT. A signboard with all the necessary information will be installed near it.

“Once the bridge is up the highway will open to traffic, and we would inform about its capacity and the dos and don’ts to the public through media,” Kinzang Dorji said.

Officials from the Department of Surface Transport suspect that bailey bridge had collapsed because of the overloading and speeding of the dumper truck. It was found that the truck carried an extra weight of around 10MT beyond the bridge’s gross carrying capacity.

“The maintenance and inspection of the bridge was done before it collapsed,” said an official. “The case will be forwarded to the court since it incurs a loss to the government.”

The components of the destroyed bridge were damaged beyond use and will be sold as scrap, the official said.