Road expansion to complete only after monsoonThe road expansion work at Koteshwor-Kalanki stretch of the Ring Road is likely to be delayed by some months owing to some technical issues, according to the Department of Roads (DoR).
The road expansion work at Koteshwor-Kalanki stretch of the Ring Road is likely to be delayed by some months owing to some technical issues, according to the Department of Roads (DoR).
The 10km stretch is being widened as part of the Kathmandu Ring Road Improvement Project that began in June 2013. The project was originally set to be completed in 2017, but the completion date was postponed to July 2018 due to the delays caused by the 2015 earthquake and the Indian border blockade.
The DoR has once again put off the project completion deadline.
According to the project manager Prakash Bhandari, the delay this time was caused due to some additional overhead bridges that are being installed along the road.
Those bridges were not part of the main design.
“Two bridges at Satdobato and Gwarko are near completion. We need to build some more bridges for which we have decided to wait until the end of monsoon,”said Bhandari.
The delay has also been caused due to differential settlement on pavement structure that may occur between new and old road sections, causing cracks on the newly built road.
“The Chinese side will complete work on the first settlement within this fiscal year. However, they don’t want to take the risk by handing over the road ye,t because there is a chance of cracks developing on the road during monsoon,” said Bhandari, adding that the contractor wants to wait till monsoon to make sure that there is no problem with the road surface before handing it over to the government.
The road expansion project has already been criticised for undermining the safety of pedestrians and other road users.
Civil society members have long been raising their concerns about the stretch having few crossing points along the busiest road of the Kathmandu Valley.
Following such complaints, the authorities had decided to add zebra crossings and overhead bridges along the road.
“We are planning to construct 10 overhead bridges and add more zebra crossings on the road to make it easy for the public to get across,” said Bhandari.
The eight-lane road also lacks median, a key safety component to keep vehicles from getting into opposite lane.
DoR Deputy Director General Sanjay Kumar Shrestha said that by the time they realised the need of median, it was already too late. “We had requested the contractor, but that would require breaking the newly built road surface, meaning more time and more budget,” he said.
The authorities are planning to place items like water-filled plastic drums to divide the lanes.
The DoR officials said they will also be using double white lines to separate lanes, enforce speed limit and other traffic safety rules to reduce accidents along the road.