The World Bank has agreed to provide financial assistance to the Roads Department to build 14 bridges on the Muglin-Narayanghat road, the Kathmandu Valley’s key supply line which is currently being upgraded from single lane to double lane.
A verbal agreement has been reached with the Washington-based multilateral lender, and a written accord will be concluded soon, the Roads Department said.
The World Bank will provide financial assistance of Rs2 billion to the department to build 14 bridges. The planned new bridges will be constructed alongside the existing bridges to match the increased width of the road. The 36.16-km Muglin-Narayanghat road runs north-south, and links Prithvi Highway and the East-West Highway near their midway points.
The Roads Department said it would use prefabricated concrete and metal members to build the bridges. “We are planning to use readymade members to allow us to complete the construction quickly,” said Sanjay Kumar Shrestha, chief of the Foreign Cooperation Branch at the department. “We will build the foundations and pillars at the construction site and use prefabricated elements to complete the bridges.” The Roads Department is planning to complete the construction within a year after a contractor is appointed for the job.
There are altogether 18 bridges on the Muglin-Narayanghat road. The Roads Department has started building new bridges alongside four bridges. The construction of 14 other bridges will begin after the World Bank provides the loan. “We already have the design of the upgraded bridges, and we are in a position to appoint a contractor and start construction immediately after we get the loan,” said Shrestha.
Meanwhile, the Roads Department has completed most of the work on the Muglin-Narayanghat road upgradation project which is also being carried out with financial assistance from the Word Bank. Out of the 33.2-km section of the road that is being upgraded, only a 1.5-km section needs to be black topped while 150 metres of road needs to be widened.
The project, which is being implemented with a Rs3 billion aid package from the multilateral lender, will upgrade and expand a 33.2-km section of the Narayanghat-Muglin Road to Asian Highway standard and address road safety, axle load control and environmental sustainability issues along the trade corridor.
The road will be expanded to a double-lane road with a width of 9 to 11 metres. The current width of the road is 5.5 metres. The road will be widened up to 11 metres from Aaptari to Jugedi, and up to 9 metres till Muglin.
The Narayanghat-Muglin road carries the heaviest traffic in the country, accounting for 90 percent of Nepal’s total international trade traffic. More than 20,000 vehicles ply the highway daily.
Source: The Kathmandu Post