Two flashfloods delayed works that started in 2008, says contractor

Infrastructure: Much to the relief of the motorists along the Trashigang- Samdrupjongkhar highway, works on the Bamridrang bridge has resumed and are in full swing Since October 1.

Construction of the PSC Box Girder bridge over the Bamri stream, about seven kilometres from Trashigang towards Kanglung, started in 2008 together with the bridge at Rongthong. After completing the construction of two abutments, works were stopped in March 2013 because the focus then shifted to the recently completed Rongthong bridge.

In 2008, Project Dantak had awarded the works to construct both the Bamridrang and Rongthong bridges to an Indian government contractor, M/S Mohan Bajaj.

Project manager, Gopal Yadav said they are currently carrying out the false works where the riverbed would be concreted to build a solid base for the bridge.

“We wanted to start works for the super structure in September but the rain delayed work. Once the false works and staging is complete, it won’t take much time for other activities,” he said.

Gopal Yadav said the bridge would be open to traffic only by July next year.

“Counting the painting works and miscellaneous activities like wearing coat, crash barrier and hand drilling among others, we won’t be able to meet the tentative deadline of March 31,” he said.

Justifying the time taken to complete the bridge, Gopal Yadav said two flash floods in 2011 and 2012 delayed the progress.

In 2011, a major flash flood buried whole of the Daranga side abutment. In 2012, another flash flood completely buried about five meters of the Trashigang side abutment as well, he said.

“The Trashigang abutment was filled with soil and gravel while the river was flowing over both the abutments,” the project manager said. “We had to wait for a month for excavation work to divert the river. Works had to be restarted from scratch.”

Besides damaging TMT steel bars that were fixed for concreting of the base, a lot of stacked materials were also washed away by the two floods, he said.

When both the abutments were raised in 2013, the contractor decided to first complete the Rongthong Bridge and then resume works at Bamridrang.

Once complete, the bridge will be 45 meters long with a carriage width of 7.8 meters and footpath width of 1.5 meters. The Rs 23.8M worth bridge will have a carrying capacity  of 110 metric tonnes.

Tshering Wangdi, Trashigang