Kawang Gewog awaits completion of double lane bridge at Pangrizampa

The delay in the construction of the double-lane reinforced concrete bridge at Pangrizampa in Thimphu has left residents of Kawang Gewog unhappy. Initially scheduled to be completed in November last year, the bridge was delayed because some local materials needed for the construction weren’t easily available. In addition, the width had to be increased to accommodate the double-lane design. The bridge is now nearing completion with 90 per cent of the work complete.

Blending modern technology with traditional architecture, the new bridge will have a carrying capacity of 70 metric tonnes.

According to the Construction Development Corporation Limited, CDCL, which is responsible for building the bridge, the pandemic and change in the design of the bridge delayed the project.

Furthermore, the work was halted for about three months last year when they experienced flooding.

“The factor that affected this construction of the bridge is mainly the monsoon. It affected the underground footing with huge seepage of underground water. There was also a scarcity of materials. Quality materials we needed were not readily available in the market,” said Ram Chandra, the project engineer of CDCL.

Meanwhile, residents have expressed difficulties in transporting heavy loads and machinery while using the old Bailey Bridge. The old bridge has a carrying capacity of 15 metric tonnes.

“The current Bailey bridge cannot bear the load of heavy vehicles and machinery. We have to transport these items through the new bridge at Begana. This costs us twice as much as it would have otherwise,” said Sonam Dorji, Kawang Mangmi.

Similarly, the delay in the project completion has slowed down other projects in the gewog. For instance, the Kawang Gewog Administration planned to install the old Bailey Bridge at Pangrizampa at Choekhor Lum.

Currently, there is a temporary bridge at Choekhor Lum but the residents are worried about its stability, especially during the monsoon season.

“The flood washed away the previous bridge during the monsoon last year. This is the only way for students to reach the school. When there is no proper bridge, the students cannot reach school on time. Moreover, the residents rely on the same road to visit BHU at Kuzhugchen,” said Kinley Penjor,  Dazhi- Shoshel Tshogpa, Kawang Gewog.

The initial budget for the bridge construction was Nu 73 M but the costs have gone up. The CDCL has yet to figure out the final total cost.

The project is expected to be complete by the end of next month. Once complete, it will benefit nine thousand people of three gewogs in Kawang, Naro and Lingzhi.

Tashi Chezom and Pema Tshomo

Edited by Sonam Pem

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