Motorable Local Roads Bridge Programme (MLRBP) – Phase I

Project completed

Lack of access aggravated by absence of bridges and adequately maintained local roads is one of the primary reasons for high incidence of poverty in Nepal. The increased confidence of the Government of Nepal in the Swiss Technical Assistance has led the Government to double its budget in this sector, bearing also in mind the need to ensure easy access for reconstruction to the earthquakes affected areas. As part of Switzerland’s contribution to reconstruction, SDC will support the preparation of 100 additional bridges until the end of 2015.

The Department of Local Infrastructure Development and Agricultural Roads of the Ministry of Local Development (DoLIDAR/MoLD) is responsible for construction and maintenance of motorable bridges in addition to local roads but it has limited capacity to shoulder this responsibility. DoLIDAR is desirous of a) developing norms and standards appropriate to local roads and b) strengthening its capacities as well as that of the private sector so that these pilots can be replicated. In this regard, GoN has requested SDC to support them with technical assistance. Switzerland has gained significant recognition and visibility in Nepal over the last 4 decades through its engagement in the transport sector, particularly in the trail-bridge and local road sectors.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Agriculture & food security
Employment & economic development
Rural infrastructure (till 2016)
Agriculture value-chain development (til 2016)
Employment creation
01.10.2010 - 31.05.2016
CHF  19’335’000

The Department of Local Infrastructure Development and Agricultural Roads (DoLIDAR) estimates that there are 50,943 kms of local roads in Nepal, out of which only 16,000 kms (32%) are of all-weather standard, and more than 50% are in non-operable conditions. As a result, most of the roads are not pliable during monsoon (for 4 months when farmers need them most for cultivation). While the issue of maintenance of local roads is being addressed in all the major road sector programmes, the motorable bridges remain a major bottleneck for better connectivity. As a result, benefits of investments made in the roads sector has not been optimal and an intervention on motorable bridges is a priority in order to make roads all-weather.


The goal of MLRBP aims at contributing to ‘improving livelihoods of the local people by providing them with better access to essential services’.

Target groups

The major target beneficiaries are rural isolated people and DAGs through their involvement in labour (unskilled, semi-skilled and even skilled after training) for bridge construction and maintenance works. In addition, DoLIDAR, the programme district authorities (DDCs) and the national/local private sector will benefit from increased capacities.

Medium-term outcomes

Outcome 1: The people have improved access to resources and opportunities from all-weather motorable access;

Outcome 2: National and local institutions adopt appropriate local bridge strategy.


Expected results:  

Originally it was planned to prepare the detail design reports (DPRs) for 165 bridges which will now increase to 265 bridge DPRs. The remaining outputs of the phase remain unchanged as follows:

Output 1: DAGs[1] within the zone of influence of the motorable bridge benefit from employment in bridge construction works.

Output 2: Local Bridge Section in District Development Committees (DDCs)/District Technical Offices (DTOs) build around additional 25 local road bridges with appropriate technology[2].

Output 3: Local Bridge Section/ Department of Local Infrastrucure Development and Agricultural Roads (DoLIDAR) pilot new type of bridges and approaches

Output 4: Local Bridge Section/ DoLIDAR have the capacity to develop Standards, Norms and Procedures

Output 5: Private sector has the capacity for the construction of local road bridges.


[1] Disadvantaged Groups (DAGs) are defined as groups suffering simultaneously from poverty and discrimination

[2] Cost-effective, technically sound, labor based and locally adaptable

Results from previous phases:  

Being an umbrella technical assistance programme MLRBP has carried out walk-over surveys of 536 bridges across the country. Similarly, detailed designs of 160 bridges and design review and verification of 114 bridges have been conducted. The programme has been supporting offices of District Development Committees (DDCs) and DoLIDAR in the construction supervision of 193 bridges, out of which, 36 bridges have been completed and vehicles are now plying year-round along 700 kms of roads. More than 400’000 person days of employment were generated from the construction of these bridges, out of which 70% went to Disadvantaged Groups (DAGs) from the Zone of Influence (ZoI).

Within the short period of operation of 4 years, MLRBP has already gained the confidence of the Government of Nepal due to its support provided in the areas of bridge planning, designing, and construction supervision. The biggest achievement is the preparation of a comprehensive Bridge Information Management System (BIMS) with Bridge Screening and Prioritization Criteria (BSPC) and pursuading its application by the districts and DoLIDAR for the rational selection of the local roads bridges in the country.

Directorate/federal office responsible SDC
Credit area Development cooperation
Project partners Contract partner
Private sector
  • Swiss Private Sector

Other partners

DoLIDAR of the Government of Nepal, District Development Committees, Private sector and Institutes of Engineering

Coordination with other projects and actors

MLRBP works in coordination/collaboration with the Government of Nepal, specifically the DDCs. The programme also assists with technical inputs specifically for bridge technical design and review and support as needed by other GoN’s projects funded by other development partners including ADB, DFID, OFID, WB.

Budget Current phase Swiss budget CHF    19’335’000 Swiss disbursement to date CHF    19’269’451
Project phases Phase 4 01.01.2021 - 30.06.2025   (Current phase) Phase 3 01.03.2017 - 31.12.2020   (Completed) Phase 2 01.06.2016 - 28.02.2018   (Completed)

Phase 1 01.10.2010 - 31.05.2016   (Completed)