Dechen Dolkar

The newly constructed Taktichhu bridge along the Thimphu-Phuenstholing highway is now open to traffic.

The bridge was jointly inaugurated by the Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, Chandra Bahadur Gurung, and Ambassador of India to Bhutan, Sudhakar Dalela, yesterday.

The bridge was constructed at a cost of around Nu 200 million.

The Taktikothi stretch along the Thimphu-Phuentsholing highway remains prone to major landslides, causing inconveniences to commuters.

Disruption of traffic due to overflow of water over the existing culverts is an annual occurrence.

The new Taktichhu bridge

To address the safety concerns and keep the stretch open for all seasons, Project Dantak initiated the construction a 100-metre reinforced cement concrete (RCC) Taktichhu bridge in May 2019.

The bridge is a pre-stressed RCC cantilever bridge resting on RCC abutments.

The total length of the bridge is 100m, the carriageway is 7.5 metres and has two footpaths on each side of 1.5 meters.

Its load classification is 70R.

Minister Chandra Bahadur Gurung said that it marked a significant milestone in the enduring friendship between India and Bhutan as we witness the culmination of collaborative efforts in enhancing our infrastructure and connectivity.

“The Taktichhu bridge stands as a symbol of the strong bonds of friendship and cooperation between our two nations,” Lyonpo said.

Lyonpo said that the construction of the Takti Chu bridge underscored our commitment to ensuring safe and efficient travel along the Phuentsholing and Thimphu highway.

Lyonpo also said that by replacing the ageing box culvert of 2003 vintage with a modern 100-meter span pre-stressed concrete cantilever bridge, we have not only addressed the challenges posed by increasing traffic but have also enhanced the resilience of our transportation infrastructure.

The Ambassador Sudhakar Dalela said that the Phuenstholing-Thimphu highway is the most essential connectivity in the country. “Over the years traffic in this road has increased by many folds. It is used for commercial purposes both from in and outside the country.”

The ambassador said that going forward, under the 13th Plan of Bhutan, the government of India is committed to expanding its partnership with MoIT, including seeking new avenue of cross-border and multimodal connectivity like railways, as per the priority of the government of Bhutan.

According to Project Dantak, the contract for the construction of this bridge was awarded to Poddar Construction Company in April 2019 and despite the stoppage of construction work for almost two years due to Covid-19 pandemic, the construction was completed in November 2023.

All the materials used in the bridge have been tested for their characteristics and performances vide various notified standard Codes.

The official from Project Dantak said that as safety of this bridge is concerned, the Takti bridge has undergone a static load test for five days and for the first time, the bridge has also been checked for dynamic loads.

The bridge has successfully passed all quality control checks, adhering to the highest standards of construction and engineering.