Neten Dorji

The Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport (MoIT) will soon reconstruct the same bailey bridge at Kuri-Gongri confluence which connects Gyalpoizhing to Nganglam or consider a modular bridge over the Drangmechu. 

MoIT Minister, Dorji Tshering at the recent meet-the-press said that the ministry is yet to decide whether to  go ahead with the reconstruction of the same bailey bridge with new sets of bridge parts or explore  another bridge design called modular. 

The bailey bridge collapsed twice in two months claiming lives of two people.  The minister said that they will soon discuss the way forward with the government.

The ministry could not ascertain the exact reason why the bridge collapsed for the second time. “The reason can be either technical failure or overloading. It can be a combination of both,” Lyonpo said. “I have been constructing bridges for over 20 years, but I could not understand why the bridge collapsed.” 

Lyonpo said they could not pinpoint what caused the accident since it was not a normal truck that was ferrying loads. “In general, trucks keep on increasing the loading capacity, but carrying capacity of bridges remained what was fixed 20 years ago,” said the minister. “The collapse was not due to the quality of the materials used.  We have used new parts that were used for the reconstruction. It doesn’t mean that parts used are old,” said the minister. 

The Gyalpoizhing-Nganglam highway has been closed to traffic since June 27 after the 190-ft reconstructed bailey bridge over Drangmechu collapsed for the second time.

Meanwhile, the ten wheeler truck and two bodies are yet to be recovered.