Sherab Lhamo

The first-ever Reinforced Concrete Cement (RRC) bazam at Pangrizampa in Thimphu, blending modern technology with traditional architecture, is slated for completion by May 3, 2024, according to project management.

This bridge aims to replace the old Bailey bridge, originally built in 2019, which could support up to 15 metric tonnes (MT).

The new double-lane bridge, capable of handling 100MT, is being constructed by the Construction Development Corporation Limited with a budget of Nu 84.74 million.

Initially scheduled to commence construction in October 2021, the project was delayed until 2022 due to adjustments needed in the design, increasing the length from 7 to 7.5 metres.

The new double-lane bridge can handle 100MT

Using predominantly local materials—approximately 95 percent—the bridge incorporates timber, cement, stones, granite, and other resources procured from various dzongkhags.

Despite the reliance on local resources, challenges were encountered during construction. The  construction for the bridge posed initial difficulties, by the demanding river flow affecting base construction.

Additionally, acquiring specific materials such as boulders, cement, timber, and white granite proved difficult due to their scarcity and high cost.

Further complicating matters, the local workforce faced a learning curve with the new technology involved.

However, the project manager emphasised the commitment of Bhutanese workers who learned on the job, managing all aspects from design to construction.

Currently, the bridge stands at 80 percent completion.

If construction is permitted within local area plan-1—from Dazhi to Choekhor Lum—the bridge’s completion would significantly benefit the community, facilitating the convenient transportation of construction materials.