The 46.8ms pre-stressed concrete box girder bridge over Omchhu in Phuentsholing opened to traffic on April 17.

The bridge near the confluence with Torsa is the second motorable bridge over Omchhu.

The much-awaited bridge is expected to complement the SASEC Project’s northern bypass road and ease congestion in the commercial hub.

Phuentsholing thromde is planning to divert the trucks ferrying boulders from Torsa from this bridge. Trucks would not have to drive through the existing motorable bridge so that ongoing construction of an underpass bridge of the northern bypass would not be disturbed with heavy congestion.

Project manager of the bridge, Anu Pradhan, said they have informed relevant officials of the diversion.

“Trucks will have to use this bridge and then exit from the second gate,” she said, adding that trucks today enter and exit from the main gate.

Meanwhile, the construction of the bridge at this point over Omchhu, which is under the urban infrastructure development project had begun in 2015. But the construction was stopped midway due to design changes, as there was a mismatch in the report about the soil studies.

When the design was changed and finalised, the contracting firm, a Nepal-based Tundi Construction Private, could not bear the revised cost and surrendered it.

Construction resumed in August 2017 with a new design where the bridge span increased to 46.8ms from the previous 46ms. The costing also increased to Nu 75.12M from 44.46M.

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is funding 85 percent of the capital as a loan, while the government is funding the remaining 15 percent.

The project manager, meanwhile, said that the construction was not delayed this time. “As there were some extra works, we gave the construction company 33 additional days to complete,” she said.

Rajesh Rai | Phuentsholing