The most awaited Damchu-Chukha bypass road will be inaugurated on 18 July and opened for traffic. The bypass will decrease the Thimphu – Phuentsholing highway by 19.5 km and reduce travelling time by around an hour.
The Prime Minister Lyonchhen Dasho Tshering Tobgay is expected to inaugurate the bypass.
The construction of the bypass road was started on 19th March 2010. The deadline of the road completion was postponed several times due to various issues.
An official from Dantak said that the main factor for delay in the bypass completion is because there were two to three places in between with steep cliffs and the controlled blasting of terrain led to slow work progress.
In addition, he also said that while carrying out the work, proper planning had to be made in various situations that led to further delays. “Since Bunakha (reservoir) hydro power project will be coming up in future, we had to do a planning so to keep the highway much above the water level in future,” he added.
In addition, he also said that they can’t blast as and when they want to, as they had take care of the areas near the Chukha hydropower project.
He also said that with no approach road alignment to the bridge, a new alternative approach had to be made to connect to the bridge, and this took up too much time.
“From the three bridges, one bridge had approach alignment but from only one side, while the other two bridges didn’t have, which is why we had to find other alternative way to do so,” he added.
“We could have opened the road to traffic last year, however, we couldn’t because of the construction of Tanalungchhu Bridge, the longest bridge (145 meters) among the three took time for the completion along with associated challenges.”
He also said that the construction of Tanalungchhu was completed on 10 July 2018, whereby they took few days to test the bridge. “Those are some of the factors which led to delay in completion of work for several times,” he added.
Nevertheless, he said that now that the road will be open to traffic in few days, he said that people will know better about the hardship and challenges faced during the construction.