Monday, 12 May 2008

Puna Mochhu bazam opened

The only wooden bridge, with the longest unsupported span worldwide, considering the applied structural methods, the 55 m long Puna Mochhu bazam at Punakha will be opened to the public today by Prime Minister Jigmi Y Thinley and executive chairman of Pro Bhutan Association, Harald N Nestroy.

A sleek creation of Walt+ Galmarini AG, a renowned engineering company specialized in designing bridges, the bridge is the prototype of a hybrid construction, using a mix of medieval traditional designs and innovative modern technology.

Since the Dzong and the bazam come under the “red area” of potential danger from glacial lake outburst floods, the new concrete foundation has special protection with thousands of boulders and concrete blocks placed into the riverbed.

For the security of the people using the bridge in future, invisible steel elements have been incorporated to stabilize the high bridge arch and prevent it from twisting or falling sideways.

Construction began in mid 2006, two years after the Pro Bhutan Association was approached by the then Prime Minster Lyonpo Sangay Ngedup.

The completion of Puna Mochhu bazam marks the close relationship between Bhutan and Germany and celebrates 100 years of monarchy in Bhutan.

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