The Ministry of Construction is carrying out the construction of Thanlwin Bridge (Tahsan) that connects Mongton Township in eastern Shan State and Mongpan Township in Southern Shan State, and at present, the construction of onshore bridge piles on either side of Mongton and Mongpan townships and pile cap work on two piers have completed by 17% of the construction of the whole bridge.
The bridge is located between Milestone No. 184 km and 185 km on the Namsang-Mongnai-Mongton-Mongsat road (NH-23), at about 300 feet away from the 900-foot-long one-way cable-stayed bridge across the Thanlwin River. The bridge construction is expected to cost 24,000 million kyats, and the No. (4) Special Bridge Task Force of the Department of Bridges is constructing it with 10 skilled engineers and 150 workers. The original bailey bridge has become old and can with- stand only 16 tonnes of the weight limit of the vehicles passing through the bridge, making the trucks have to load and unload by small vehicles. Since there are delays in transporting goods by small vehicles, a new two-lane bridge with a load capacity of 75 tonnes is being constructed to make it easier for trucks carrying goods for the Eastern and Southern Shan States to pass through, according to the Bridge Special Task Force (4).
The new Thanlwin Bridge (Tahsan) under construction will be 266.861 metres long. It is a kind of Cable Suspension Bridge+ R.C Bridge and the foundations of the bridge are made of 1.5 metres diameter RC Bored Pile. The lower part of the bridge is RC and the upper part is Cable Suspension+ RC. The approach slab on the Mongpan side is 11 metres long and the other side is 54.861 metres long, water clearance will be 189.5 metres wide and 8 metres high.
After the completion of the bridge, it will also facilitate trade in local crops and other products across the border, making it a key hub. In addition, Taunggyi can be reached through this bridge from Tachilek directly, without needing to go to Kengtung. Another border trade route is likely to emerge as a trade route to Taunggyi could be extended through the border trade point on the Mongton-Pungpahkyem road.
Projects for the construction of the new bridge began on 6 February 2019 and will be completed by 2023. The new bridge is expected to be completed by the end of March, according to the Ministry of Construction. — Pwint Thitsar/GNLM.