A temporary Bailey bridge has been placed over a section of the severely damaged Balujora Bridge in Pasakha to ensure smooth traffic flow when the rainy season starts. This is while a new bridge is being built nearby to be completed by May 2019.
“We thought it was necessary for this summer to come up with a temporary bridge over the existing bridge which is almost at the verge of collapse,” said Sonam Tobgay, manager of the government SASEC project to rebuild the Balujora Bridge.
“But we won’t be able to do anything this monsoon for the heavy cargo traffic that will not ply over the bridge. If the road is damaged by heavy rainfall we will deploy machines, we have three contractors on the ground which are well equipped.”
He said they have kept a provision in the contract to mobilize resources and pay for their work.
Sonam Tobgay said that the ADB Balujora Bridge and associated works are a single project, divided into three packages. Package one is the construction of Bhalujhora Bridge, package two is construction of Multi Cellular Culvert box, road work (road section of about 1.2 KM), Land Custom Station (LCS) and Gabion structure and package three is construction of Gabion structures/ stabilisation work.
He said that package one has been assigned to CDCL at a contract amount of Nu 80 mn, package two has been awarded to Bhutan Builder Pvt. Ltd at a contract amount of Nu 100 mn while package three has been awarded to Druk Chapchap Construction and Gyalcon Joint Venture (JV) with a contract amount of Nu 132 mn.
The contract period for all the three packages is 15 months. According to Sonam Tobgay, work for package one and three is in good progress with work started on 1 January 2018 to be completed by 31 March 2019.
Package two was just handed over on 1 March 2018, as there was a need to correct the contract document.
He also said that as of now CDCL has excavated one foundation and work is going as per the schedule.
On package three the major work is stone gabion work and the contractor has collected more than 17,000 metercube of boulders and the gabion mesh has been delivered to site.
He also said that the Association Bhutanese Industries (ABI) has been supportive in the past years and they still expect the same support from ABI regarding the deployment of machineries during monsoon.