Showing posts with label Bridge. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Bridge. Show all posts

27 April 2014

The Last Wangdue Bridge

The historic wooden Wangdue bridge gave way to a motorable bridge in 1970s. The new bridge was perhaps a green iron bridge which stood there till 2002, when it was replace by the current concrete bridge.
How did I know the last bridge was green and made of iron? The answer is half submerged in the river (see picture). It is not only an eyesore near a very important site but also not a friendly foreign object in the river biodiversity. 
I am wondering why the rubble was left there. Who was supposed to clear it? Why was it left there? Was it ok to be left there in the river just like that? 

Rubble of the Last Iron Bridge
I can guess that the iron is of very good quality and given the opportunity some people might want to scrap it to pieces and use it for some purpose or simply sell it of. In Bajo town even septic tank covers are lost and a recent news reported that a home lost all its window grills, which suggest that iron is in high demand in scrap market. Then, why isn't that ugly bridge scrap lying there forever? There are at least few good tonnes of solid iron, and instead of letting it rust in the river and remain as an eyesore for ages why don't we let some people take it away for free?

09 December 2010

My Dream of Lungtenzampa Bridge

A bridge is a symbol of art, landmark of the city, an icon of development of a country. But what is Lungtenzampa Bridge? In the heart of Bhutan's capital city, where it should have been a beautiful bridge that could live up to the legend of the bridge of destiny lies a dumb-looking engineering blunder. 

It is not pleasing to look at, shapelessly huge and rough, giving an outline of a sleeping elephant seal. It is not friendly for pedestrians to cross and worse is when the summer rain dams up in its enormous depression right in the centre of the bridge. If Phajo Drogom Zhipo and Khandro Sonam Palden had this bridge between them then, they would have gone back rather.

Lungtenzampa- photo by Ugyen

18 Century Wangdue Bridge
Bhutan had built beautiful bridges way before London had the Tower Bridge (1894) or San Francisco had their Golden Gate (1937). We had built them without a piece of iron or a spade of cement.  Without even a drawing. We have history. But history only. Today France has Millau Bridge, South Korea has Banpo Bridge, Singapore has Henderson Waves, China has Hangzhou Bay Bridge, Brazil has Oliveira Bridge, Germany has Magdeburg Water Bridge… all masterpieces of their country's architects and all landmarks of their countries. But what do we have? Lungtenzampa Bridge? If Zhabdrung came back he would die of shame.

I dream to see a Bhutanese masterpiece stretch over the Wang chu one day, that is so beautiful that we are proud to step out of our car and walk over it in the evening, that is so unique that when the world sees it on TV or internet they know that it is in Bhutan, that is so intelligently built that there is way out for the rainwater and way across for people, that is so iconic that it changes the face of Thimphu.