Preparations afoot to expand bridges

- SAMIK KHAREL, Kathmandu

May 16, 2014-

The bridges along the Maitighar-Tinkune stretch which have not been expanded in line with the widened roads have become a major cause of  traffic bottlenecks. The trouble has exacerbated as increasing number of vehicles are using the recently completed service lanes to avoid traffic on the expressway; vehicular congestion ensues every time these vehicles switch lanes as the bridge approaches.  

Authorities say that the expansion of the two main bridges in Maitighar-Tinkune road section would take at least 18 months to complete.

While the design for the Dhobikhola bridge in this stretch has been approved for expansion, the Bagmati bridge has not yet received the green signal from the Departments of Roads (DoR).

“ We will award contract of both the bridges to the same constructing party as soon as we receive approval for both,” said Shyam Prasad Kharel, chief at the Kathmandu Valley Road Improvement Project (KVRIP).

Early last year, KVRIP had forwarded basic draft of the bridge design to road department which was rejected many times, citing that the project could not be approved without the final draft of detail design for the bridges. “Many revisions were made on the designs. We hope to receive the approval within next few days,” Kharel said.

Experts claim that expanding bridges is a sensitive task as their foundations must be fortified before undertaking the project. Most of the bridges in the Kathmandu Valley have a 100-year lifespan, after which they need to be destroyed or rebuilt. The authorities plan to build two new bridges on the either side of the existing ones.

“We will have to add two bridges which will be equipped with service lane and a three metre cycle lane and footpath. This will be slightly narrower than the expanded road, but will function efficiently,” said Kharel.

The construction of these two major bridges is estimated to cost Rs 300 million with. In case of other bridges creating traffic bottlenecks, the road authorities say they don’t require urgent attention.

Kathmandu Division Chief at the DoR, Gopal Khadka said that the other bridges are responding well to the traffic so far.

Published: 17-05-2014 09:19

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