The much-awaited Amochhu bridge, whose completion was scheduled in May end, has been further delayed by another week.
Pending works as of now include blacktopping and other electrical works. The Nu. 245mn bridge has missed several deadlines since works started in 2009. More than three contractors have worked on the steel arch bridge, an important line that connects the highway from Phuentsholing to Samtse and vice versa.
The chief engineer of the Department of Roads, Dorji Wangdi admitted that blacktopping and electrical fitting works remain to be done although the main works are complete.
He said the reluctance of the contractors to work on small stretch has caused the delay. However, the work has been tendered out and a contractor has agreed to carry out the blacktopping work.
“We have negotiated and are waiting to be endorsed,” he said. Around 240-meter-long stretch of blacktopping has to be done.
“Since all the resources have to be mobilized for small stretch of work, no contractor is willing to take the job. That’s why the cost escalates,” Dorji Wangdi said.
According to the engineer, it would take around four days to complete blacktopping of the road. The materials for electrical fitting works along the bridge have also arrived at the site and the work will start soon.
Project Manager Tshering Wangchuk said the bridge will be complete in the next few days. The post tensioning works have been completed and the load testing has also been done. The structural works have also been completed, including post tensioning work.
Meanwhile, the bridge is the country’s first three dimensional (3D), parabolic semi-through arch bridge and it would connect Dorokha, Dumtey, Denchukha, Dumtey, and Haa to Phuentsholing after Samtse.
The semi-through type and steel-arched Amochhu bridge was first scheduled for completion in September 2011. However, it missed about five deadlines, the last being August 2017. Two joint venture contractors were also terminated between 2009 and 2016 as they could not complete the targeted works on time.
Once complete, the bridge would be the longest permanent (concrete) bridge in the country and will link the 58-km Phuentsholing-Samtse highway. The bridge connects Purbey in Phuentsholing side and Tading gewog in Samtse. Once the bridge connects Phuentsholing and Samtse, it is also expected to reduce hassle for travelers who use the Indian highways to travel from Phuentsholing to Samtse and vice versa.
Krishna Ghalley from Phuentsholing