Construction and rehabilitation of bridges in the mountainous regions of the Kyrgyz Republic

What we are doing
Implementation Period
  • Implementation Period: 2016 - 2020
  • Donor organization: Швейцарская ассоциация «Pamir’s Bridges»
  • Geographical location: Нарынская, Таласская, Иссык-Кульская, Джалал-Абадская, Баткенская области, Кыргызская Республика, Горно-Бадахшанская автономная области, Республика Таджикистан.
Old Soviet-era bridges, or rather what is left of them, are replaced by new and rehabilitated facilities. Old bridges were usually in bad technical condition – often, they consist of a narrow carriageway made of rusted wooden boards and lack of strong supports and railings. Crossing such a bridge was life-threatening for shepherds and animals, as well as for local residents – gatherers of berries and medicinal herbs, hunters, and tourists. In some ayil districts the bridges were completely destroyed. As a result, herders used detours to ferry animals to pasture, being on the road for days.

Project Background

CAMP Alatoo PF is building and constructing bridges in close cooperation with forestry, rangeland committees, national parks, nature reserves, local administrations and communities. The communities are interested in improving the rural infrastructure and subsequently taking responsibility for the maintenance and operation of the new facility.

Initiatives by local authorities to rehabilitate or construct the bridge are supported on a competitive basis.

During the project, the technical characteristics of the bridges have been revised. The single-span wooden structures with a carriageway of no more than 7 metres have been replaced by reinforced concrete structures. One of the major bridges built in 2016 is 27 metres long. About 10 tonnes of steel structures were used in the construction of this facility.

The construction and rehabilitation process involved several stages. CAMP Alatoo PF specialists survey the condition of the bridges, advise local communities on the technical, financial and time details of construction or repair, assist in obtaining the necessary materials, monitor the entire process and provide a final expert assessment of the site.

In 2017, the project was expanded to Tajikistan, where a new 15 m bridge was built across the Dirumdara River (Sej Jamoat, Roshtkala district).

Project Objectives & Goals

The project aims to improve access to natural resources (e.g., collection of berries, nuts and medicinal herbs) and to remote pastures for pasture users and beekeepers, provide passage for firefighters and medical services in emergency situations, support communication between mountain villages, and open and develop new tourist routes.

Project Result

  • In 2016, 3 new bridges were built and 1 bridge rehabilitated in Naryn, Talas and Osh oblasts;
  • In 2017, 2 new bridges were built and 4 bridges rehabilitated in Naryn, Jalal-Abad and Gorno-Badakhshan regions of Tajikistan;
  • 12 bridges were built in 2018-2020
  • Information boards with the ordinal numbers of the bridges and the participants in the construction were installed.

A story of success. In 2019, a new bridge in Naryn province was built with private funds. A family from Switzerland, Lawrence and Bernard Gygax, told the head of the Pamir Bridges Association, Bernard Repond, about their desire to help the Kyrgyz people. He offered to send aid to residents of the Dobolu ayil district to build an overpass across the Tuyuk-Suu River to remote pastures and long-term use areas. Some 1,000 cows, more than 3,000 sheep and 600 horses come here for grazing during the warm season. Before the construction of the bridge the shepherds used to travel to the pastures on horseback. Crossing the river was dangerous in the spring, when the water rose above its usual level and washed away the road leading to these places.

Thanks to the new nine-metre bridge, around 40 users gained access to 7,000 ha of pasture, which can accommodate and feed all the cattle belonging to the inhabitants of Dobölü and Ortok aiyl districts. This allowed a seasonal rotation of pastures and reduced pressure on winter pastures located near villages, as well as improved tourist routes and linking Naryn and Issyk-Kul regions.

In 2018-2020, with technical and logistical support from CAMP Alatoo PF, 12 bridges were built in the mountainous regions of Naryn, Talas, Issyk-Kul, Jalal-Abad and Batken regions of Kyrgyzstan and in the Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Region of Tajikistan.

In 2018, a new pedestrian bridge across the Shakhdara River in the village of Sejd, Roshtkala district, GBAO, enabled residents of 130 households in Sejd village to safely cross as well as ferry their cattle to the other side of the river, where there are about 1,500 ha of pastures, over 100 ha of forest, as well as land holdings. The bridges in the mountainous area provide access for shepherds and pastoralists to remote pastures, for beekeepers to highland meadows, for villagers to places where berries and medicinal herbs grow, and for tourists to beautiful scenery and clear lakes.