Chencho Dema| Punakha

The construction of a pre-stressed concrete rigid frame/cantilever-type bridge on the Bajo-Khuru secondary National Highway is underway.

The old Khuru Kuenphen Bridge, which connects Khuruthang in Punakha to Bajothang in Wangdue was constructed over 20 years ago.

The new 100-metre bridge is located about 25 metres upstream from Khuru Kuenphen Bridge.

The joint venture project between M/s Rigsar Construction Private Limited (RCPL) and M/s JY Engineering Consultant (JYEC) is estimated to take at least 32 months to complete.

Phase I of the project includes the comprehensive design of the bridge which is estimated to cost at least Nu 9 million. Phase I, which began from January 12, will end on June 12.

Phase II, the bridge construction, is expected to take 27 months and cost Nu 0.22 billion. Phase II will begin from June 12 and will be completed on September 11, 2025.

The bridge will feature footpaths for pedestrians on both sides.

“Our plan is to build the foundation before the monsoon. It will be a double-lane for a smooth passage of traffic,” the project’s site engineer said.

Travellers say the current bridge is too old to handle the increased traffic flow in the area; with the completion of the blacktopping of the 8.6-km Bajo-Khuru road, most of the people use the bridge to travel between Wangdue and Punakha.