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90 percent work on Muglin bridge complete; set to open on Nepali New Year

- ANUP OJHA, MUGLIN,

Mar 1, 2019-

Ninety percent work has been completed on the new arch bridge over Trishuli River, which links Muglin Bazaar and Anbu Khaireni along the Prithvi Highway, according to officials.

The new bridge will be working as an alternative for the old one which is in a dilapidated condition. The older bridge was constructed in 1974, with technical and financial support from the Chinese government.  

Arjun Jung Thapa, deputy director general of the Bridge Division of the Department of Roads, said the bridge, which will be the country’s first two-lane arch bridge, is 160 metres in length and will come into operation from the first week of Baisakh (mid-April).

The construction of the bridge started in 2016. Its total estimated cost is Rs110 million.

The contractor, Adventure Construction Company Pvt Ltd, has missed two deadlines in the past—the first in mid-October 2017 and the second in mid-March 2018.

The bridge was supposed to be completely constructed by mid-March this year. However, the bridge is expected to be completed by mid-April only.

“We will complete the remaining work on time. We have already completed the most difficult phase of construction,” said Moti Lal Sharma, field director of the construction company. He said the most difficult task was erecting three beams and 48 columns.  

He further said that many workers flee the site as the construction site was in a danger location that had high water levels with strong currents prevailing in Trishuli River. “Narayangadh-Muglin road expansion drive also disturbed our construction task as we had to import construction materials from India and due to the narrow road, we didn’t have the place to keep the camp for our construction workers,” said Sharma.

With the completion of 90 percent works, everyday commuters, locals and visitors who pass through the Muglin bridge have expressed their happiness. “The alternative bridge was already old. This would scare us to pass through because it used to shake a lot. Now the new bridge will make our travel safer,” said Mukti Pandit, local at Jamuney-5, Tanahun. “As the foundation of the new bridge is raised from the rock, I guess, this bridge is more durable and more safety,” said Pandit, who is also a former lecturer of economics at Aadikavi Bhanubhakta Campus.

The government started constructing the arch bridge after the old bridge’s plates started falling off. The beam of the old bridge has split and has shifted from its original position.

Officials at the Road Department said they have already hired Chinese experts to repair the old bridge.

“Once the new bridge comes into operation, we will obstruct the mobility of vehicles in the old bridge and we will repair it,” said Thapa. “The experts have suggested that the old bridge can still work for another two decades once it’s repaired.”

Published: 01-03-2019 08:40

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