The World Bank (WB) today (28th September 2018) approved $133 million credit to help Nepal to improve bridge connectivity and access. To construct and maintain safe, strong, and cost-effective bridges, WB supported Nepal on its Strategic Roads Network.
The Strategic Roads Network comprises Nepal’s transport backbone and includes roughly 12,142 kilometers of national highways, feeder roads, and other roads of national importance that are connected by 1,773 bridges.
The Second Bridges Improvement and Maintenance Programme (BIMP II) takes aim to ensure that Nepal government’s bridge development efforts can support the connectivity required for economic growth and development across the country’s provinces, as per the statement issued by the World Bank Group. WB also stated, “New initiatives under BIMP II include support to improve bridge resilience and enhance inclusion of non-motorized transport modes using advanced technical designs.”
The statement further reads that credit is targeted to provide support to approximately 477 bridges in Nepal in various ways. This includes maintenance support for around 90 bridges and upgrading road safety measures on approximately 180 existing bridges to help reduce accidents, injuries, and fatalities on Nepal’s roads. The programme will also support construction, rehabilitation or replacement of around 80 new two-lane bridges and 35 four-lane bridges. It will also help Department of Roads to complete construction of 92 bridges that are vital to improving connectivity and access throughout Nepal, as per statement.
“Nepal needs a strong bridge network and even stronger institutions to manage and develop that network in the future. BIMP II aims at supporting both the network’s physical development as well as the government systems that manage it,” stated Faris Hadad-Zervos, World Bank country manager for Nepal. He also stated, “We hope that the improvement of bridges in the most crucial road network of the country will lead to increased and easier access for all the people in Nepal while reducing the cost and time of transport and trade.”
“The operation to help Nepal to improve bridge connectivity and access also have a strong focus on climate resilience, gender inclusion, and innovative technologies,” stated Dominic Pasquale Patella, a senior transport specialist at World Bank and co-task team leader of the operation. “For example, it includes an initiative for the advancement of female engineers and the establishment of a new design and advanced technology cell within Department of Roads to manage the uptake of new technologies for bridge development”, he added.
Reference: The Himalayan Times