With the first cutting of the remaining 6kms of the Rephey-Koshala bypass road in Langthel gewog, Trongsa, completed recently, the 16kms bypass is now connected.

The road will, however, be opened to traffic only by the end of 2018.

This comes after 10kms of the road have already been black topped and handed over to the Departments of Roads (DoR) and people of the nearby villages are using the road.

As of now, workers of the Chapcha Engineering Private Limited are drilling rocks for blasting at one of the rocky cliffs of the stretch. They are also working on the formation cutting of the road.

The bypass, which is supposed to shorten the Trongsa-Zhemgang highway by almost 17kms, is double-laned and goes through the villages of Namther, Enducholing and Dangdung in Langthel.

DoR’s assistant engineer in Koshala, Phuntsho, said the work on 6kms was supposed to complete by June this year.

“But it might not complete in June, as the distance of the road was increased by 200meters from what was surveyed earlier,” he said. “The rocky cliff was another barrier.”

He said although the road construction might only take few months, the road would not be opened to traffic until the  two bridges are constructed. “Tender has been floated for the bridge over Dangdung stream,” he said. “We are waiting for the design for Yurmung bridge.”

DoR officials said the bridge over the stream at Dangdung should complete in 18 months while the bridge at Yurmung will be constructed only in the next financial year.

The government of India provided Nu 598 million (M) for the construction of the road. The cost of the bridge is not included.

The bypass construction began in 2012 and once completed, people travelling from Trongsa to Zhemgang and Gelephu will no longer have to pass through Langthel town.

Nima Wangdi | Trongsa