A different contractor is reinforcing parts of the bridge

Yangyel Lhaden    

Although the overhead pedestrian bridge in Olakha was completed in September, the bridge has not been open for public use.

Many Thimphu residents questioned Thimphu thromde officials on various social media platforms about the issue.

Although thromde officials refused to answer queries from Kuensel, it was learnt the bridge could not be opened for public use because of technical issues.

Sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said that the bridge was found to be unstable when more than six people walked on the bridge during a technical inspection.

The bridge is currently closed for pedestrians and the entrances are blocked with jute ropes.

A different contractor has been fixing the bridge. Work started on November 27 and is expected to be completed by December 12.

Sources said that to make the bridge stable, the new contractor is executing a jacketing process, where parts of the existing structure’s supporting base are bolstered.

Thimphu thromde decided to construct the first overhead pedestrian bridge in Olakha last year, declaring that it would complete it in a record time of five months. It started as a pilot project, worth Nu 3 million, and similar bridges will be replicated in other areas of the thromde that experience a lot of traffic.

The construction, however, took more than a year and three months.

The bridge, which is supposed to be earthquake resistant and is 5.4m high and 26m long, ornamented with Bhutanese designs, is expected to reduce road accidents, streamline traffic movements, and increase the safety of pedestrians.

Meanwhile, a homeless person has constructed a house of cardboard on the bridge.