Amochhu bridge inaugurated today

The cost escalated to Nu 354mn from the initially estimated Nu 245mn

Amochhu bridge is finally complete and will be open to traffic from today.

The works and human settlement minister, Dorji Choden will inaugurate the bridge.

The final cost of the bridge escalated to Nu 354mn while initially it was estimated at Nu 245mn. The cost has increased by Nu 109mn.

Except for the blacktopping of the 2.2km access road toward Samtse, the work is complete. The electrical fittings and bridge has been blacktopped recently. The remaining work will be completed soon, according to the Project Manager, Tshering Wangchuk. The load testing has also been completed for 40MT capacity bridge.  The road toward Phuentsholing is also complete. The road apart from the 2.2km stretch is blacktopped till Samtse. “Everything is complete and traffic movement will open,” said Tshering Wangchuk.

The retendering work for the bridge heightened the cost. The bridge completion work had to be retendered and awarded to another contractor. Also, the falling of K1 girder, the main beam of the bridge delayed the work and increased expenses. The girder was later reinstalled by a Nepal-based contractor separately.

The cost of the longest steel arch bridge also increased due to the additional expense in damages during the construction period according to Department of Road’s Chief Engineer Dorji Wangdi.

The bridge is the country’s first three dimensional (3D), parabolic semi-through arch bridge and it will 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