JICA has so far built over 19 bridges in the country

Commuters will be driving over the newly designed Zamlachu Bridge at Tangsibji in Trongsa by March next year.

Senior Project Manager Masayuki Mitsuta with Oriental Consultants Global (OC Global), the project’s consultant, said they have completed almost 60 percent of the bridge construction work. “We are left with approach roads and construction of slope protection wall of some 100 meters,” he said.

Dai Nippon Construction (DNC) is the contractor of the project.

He said the sloped and curved design bridge is a new design in Bhutan and it is also a new experience for DNC. “It is the most curved among the other two, Nikachu and Chuzomsa Bridges in Wangduephodrang,” he said.

The bridge is curved according to the geography of the landscape and slopes from the abutment at Thimphu side towards Trongsa.

Japan International Cooperation Agency Bhutan Office (JICA) Koji Yamada, who visited the site yesterday said vehicles plying towards Trongsa will not have to slow down upon reaching the bridge due to this slope and curved design. “This maintains a smooth flow of traffic,” he said.

He said there are not many such bridges in Japan and other countries as well. This bridge, he said, should serve as a showcase to all. The design is called PC simply post-tensioned box-girder bridge and it is 46.5m long and seven meters wide.

Chief Engineer of the Departments of Roads (DoR) in Trongsa Taugay Choidup said that besides being the first of its kind in the country, it also has the most complicated design. “But with technical assistance from Japan, they are doing it well,” he said.

The bridge is expected to ease transportation of Mangdechu Hydroelectric Project’s equipment since it has a load capacity of 70 metric tones.

“The existing bridge was built in 1982 and has a load capacity of only 40 MTs,” Taugay Choidup said. DoR had to strengthen the capacity of the bridge for heavy equipment transportation by providing it external supports.

Japan government is reconstructing these three bridges between Wangduephodrang and Trongsa under the project – reconstruction of bridges on primary National Highway 1.

The bridges are reconstructed since the existing bridges on this highway are old and the number of vehicles plying through has increased over the years. They are also being used with restricted load capacity.

The Japan government funded Nu.978m for all three bridges and the project term that started from December 18, 2015 ends by June 2018. JICA has so far built over 19 bridges in the country, of which 16 are along the lateral highway and three are farm road bridges.

The Japan government will also construct four bridges on the Trongsa-Gelephu highway.

Nima Wangdi | Trongsa