First ever arch bridge in limbo
By A Staff Reporter
Kathmandu Mar. 20: Operation of the first ever network arch bridge built in Nepal over the Dhobikhola River of Maitighar-Tinkune road section has been uncertain even after completion of its construction.
The uncertainty over the bridge operation is due to differences between the Department of Roads (DoR) and its contractor.
Out of the twin arch bridges being built on either side of current Dhobikhola Bridge, one lying downside the river has almost been ready but its formal operation has fallen in controversy. Another bridge involved in the same package is still in progress.
According to Bishwo Bijaya Lal Shrestha, Spokesperson of Kathmandu Valley Road Improvement Project, the contracting company J. E. Construction had urged the DoR not to open the bridge without making formal handover of the bridge.
He, however, said that there was no provision of handing over a single bridge which had been included in the same package of the project.
The contractor is demanding for one year’s observation and maintenance period of the bridge from the opening date if the government wanted to operate the completed bridge before another bridge, completes, he said.
“We have no provision of starting the observation time of two components of a project in different time,” he said. It will be possible if the decision was made from the higher level, he added.
As the bridge construction has reached the final stage, some vehicles have started passing through the bridge spontaneously.
Shrestha said that some works, including painting, finishing of footpath and wiring for electric lights are yet to be completed on the bridge.
So far, only sub-structure works of the upper side bridge in Dhobikhola has been completed.
However, only 30 per cent progress has been made on the similar type of network arc bridges being constructed over the Bagmati River of the same road section.
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