Nepal’s first road tunnel achieves breakthrough

Himal Press 15 Apr 2024
Nepal’s first road tunnel achieves breakthrough

KATHMANDU: Construction workers achieved a breakthrough in the 2,780-meter long Nagdhunga-Sisnekhola Tunnel on Monday.

Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal blasted the final two-meter section of Nepal’s first tunnel amid a ceremony, connecting tunnels being dug from Dhading and Kathmandu sides.

The tunnel links Totipakha in Chandragiri-1 of Kathmandu with Sisnekhola of Dhading, reducing travel distance on the treacherous winding section of the Tribhuvan Highway. An emergency tunnel has also been dug parallel to the main tunnel. It has a carriageway of four meters and can be used by emergency vehicles like fire engines and ambulances, according to officials. Likewise, it will also be used to evacuate motor vehicles in case of breakdowns and accidents. The emergency tunnel is connected to the main tunnel through cross passages built at seven locations inside the tunnel.

The tunnel is being built by Hazama-Ando Corporation of Japan with an estimated cost of Rs 22 billion. The tunnel has two lanes with a carriageway width of 9.5 meters and a grade of 3.5%. The project also incorporates building a 2.6-kilometer approach road of two lanes with a carriageway width of seven meters, three bridges, a flyover at Balambu interchange, and toll facilities at both ends, among others.

Now that the tunnel breakthrough has been achieved, officials say they will expedite works like road surfacing, light installation, oxygen pipe fitting, and other works inside the tunnel.



Published On: 15 Apr 2024


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