The completion of two new bridges on the Manali-Ladhak road, which is considered one of the most difficult roads in the country, has fulfilled another mission taken up by the Border Roads Organization (BRO), which is to improve infrastructure along the Manali-Leh highway.
Where are the new bridges on the Manali-Ladakh road?
Both the bridges have been build at the Koksar village of Lahaul in Himachal Pradesh. The first bridge named Koksar-I bridge has been built over the Chandra river and is 70 meters in long. The bridge has been completed at cost of Rs 8 crore whereas the second bridge named Koksar-II bridge has been completed at a cost of Rs 2 crore and is of 30 meters span. The bridges have been built at an altitude of approximately 10,302 feet and is just below the major tourist spot — Rohtang pass. It took three years to construct these bridge in the valley. The construction of the bridges was a part of development of the Manali-Sarchu highway which is being upgraded by the BRO as the national highway following its strategic importance.
Importance of the new bridges?
Leh-Ladakh had been one of the most preferred tourist destinations in the country. The pleasant weather conditions, scenic beauty, panoramic views of the valley and the snow-cladded mountains make it one of the top destinations where tourists throng during the summers. The two gateways to this place are either from Manali-Rohtang Pass highway or from Jammu & Kashmir through Srinagar-Leh highway. The unreliable and hostile environment in J&K makes Manali-Rohtang Pass highway a preferred and safer way for tourists to reach Leh-Ladakh.
Bridges being replaced on Manali Rohtang Ladhak Road
Bridges are an integral part of the border roads which are gradually being strengthened to fortify security and connectivity in the country. Building the bridges are also a part of upgradation of the roads (Koksar-I bridge and Koksar-II bridge are a part of the upgradation of the Manali-Sarchu road). The Manali-Rohtang-Leh highway has numerous bailey (truss) bridges that not only shortens the journey but are also convenient. Out of over a dozen bailey bridges on this road few are in tumbledown condition due to the extreme weather conditions, tourist and army vehicle inflow and the obvious wear an tear factor. BRO is slowly replacing these dilapidated bridges with new ones to retain the connectivity and to make the journey safer.
Source: Times of India