Arch bridge in Muglin opens for trial after three years of constructionThe country’s first two-lane arch bridge is already being used by over 20,000 vehicles that use the Anbu Khaireni road every day.
After many deadline misses, the government on Monday finally unveiled a new arch bridge over the Trishuli river for a trial, giving respite to the thousands of passengers who travel along the Muglin Bazaar and Anbu Khaireni road along the Prithvi Highway who were being compelled to use an old, rickety bridge.
The country’s first two-lane arch bridge, which is 160 m in length, is now working as an alternative for the over 20,000 vehicles—which include two-wheelers, four-wheelers, and trucks—that use the route every day.
The construction of the alternative bridge had begun in 2016 when the old bridge’s plates started to fall and the beams began to split, signalling it needed replacement. Since it began construction, the government has missed deadlines thrice. The contractor, Adventure Construction Pvt Ltd, had missed three deadlines in the past: the first in mid-October 2017, the second in mid-March in 2018, and the third date of completion in mid-April 2018.
“The bridge is finally open for trial. The new bridge, in comparison to the old one, will surely make everyone feel safe,” said Deepak Bhattrai, deputy director general at the Department of Roads.
The opening of the new bridge has instilled relief among local residents and commuters. “I feel safe to travel through the road section now. The construction of the bridge had remained in limbo for so long; finally, it’s over,” said Surya Mani Paudel, a Damauli-based shopkeeper, who travels via the bridge to go to Narayanghat to get materials for his shop five times a month.
“The old bridge would shake so much. It always scared me,” said Paudel. The old bridge had been constructed in 1974 under the technical and financial support of the Chinese government.
Speaking about why it took so long for the bridge to come into operation, Angalal Rokaya, project manager of the Muglin Bridge, under the Department of Roads, said, “The land topography in the area where the new bridge is constructed is very difficult, and it took time for us to take off the approach slabs from the bridge and widen the bridge neck.”
He added that the old bridge will be operated simultaneously with the new one, and the department has already hired a Chinese Engineer to repair the old bridge. “A month ago we had brought a Chinese bridge engineer to examine the old bridge, and he confirmed that the bridge could be repaired,” said Rokaya.
At present, the department has allowed light vehicles to pass through the old bridge and bigger vehicles to pass through the new bridge. Officials say the new arch bridge can sustain a load of up to 70 tonnes and can operate for the next 80 years.