Yeshey Lhadon

Construction of the country’s first overhead bridge at Olakha in Thimphu is expected to resume next week after it remained suspended since the announcement of lockdown.

Thimphu Thrompon, Kinlay Dorjee said, “We lost the momentum and some labourers because of the lockdown.”

The expatriate labourers have returned home while few Bhutanese workers went to their village during the lockdown.

The contractor of the overhead bridge project will recruit some foreign workers while the Bhutanese workers will return after the blessed rainy day holiday.

The pedestrian bridge is being built to reduce road accidents and streamline traffic movement. “Overhead bridges will help the traffic flow and pedestrian safety,” said the thrompon.

The project is worth Nu 3 million.

However, the Covid-19 health safety protocol could increase the project cost. Thrompon Kinlay Dorjee said, “The suspension of construction will not only push back the completion schedule but also increase the overhead cost of the project.”

If this project is successful, thromde plans to build some more overhead bridges along the Thimphu-Babesa expressway.

Thimphu thromde has identified a few strategic locations along the expressway. Places with high population density on both sides of the expressway and the school areas would be chosen.

For instance, an overhead bridge could be built near Dr Tobgyel School, in front of Shearee Square, near Changjiji school, Changbangdu, and near Deki School in Changzamtog.

“Such overhead bridges will allow schoolchildren to cross the road safely,” said Kinlay Dorjee.

The earthquake-resistant bridge will be 5.2 metres high, and 25 metres long and exhibit Bhutanese architecture.

The overpass bridge construction work which started in June is expected to end by December.