Water seepage was found to be the problem

Infrastructure: With several portions of a newly paved road in the Thinleygang area on the Wangdue-Thimphu highway being dug up, local leaders are raising questions about quality and monitoring.

Various areas on the 2km stretch have been dug up, less than a month after the entire Thinleygang stretch was blacktopped.

However, Department of Roads (DoR) chief engineer in Lobesa, GM Rai said it was not a question of quality but water seepage. He explained that damage did not occur on the entire stretch but only in areas where water was flowing beside the road, and on areas that remained wet and were prone to landslides.

This problem was detected following continuous rainfall, said DoR officials. It was found that there was no outlet under the road for water seepage therefore causing the road to “swell” and loosen up.

An inspection by DoR engineers found that the problem was caused by water seepage between the base-course and blacktopping. Quality was not found to be an issue. Following which the contractors were asked to excavate or dig up the damaged areas.

A team of senior engineers from Thimphu along with the contractors visited the area earlier this week. The team has discussed how to manage the water seepage problem and resolve the issue at the earliest.

“Within a few days they will provide us with the details on how to manage the seepage problem under the pavement,” said GM Rai.

He said DoR has site-engineers and assistant engineers deployed at the site to monitor the work’s quality. On May 30, DoR engineers conducted an inspection and quality test below the Thinleygang area in Dutsilung.

GM Rai said there is also a DoR technical monitoring team from Thimphu that checks on quality. The regional office at Lobesa also conducts required tests on materials and compression at certain intervals.

The road pavement works from Dochula to the Wangdue bridge was awarded to four contractors in four packages, each responsible for 10kms. The entire stretch is scheduled to be completed by this September.

DoR officials said although the contractors are trying to complete the stretch by June this year, it may not be possible due to the monsoon and water seepage problems.

Dawa Gyelmo | Wangdue