By Kyaw Htike Soe
With a view to helping local people from Ayeyawady Region go to other areas across the country in a convenient manner, improving road transport networks in the region, facilitating swift commodity flow, and contributing to regional development, the Pathein Bridge-2 is being built by the Ministry of Construction, said an official tasked with overseeing the bridge construction project.
The bridge is designed to link Pathein city and some residential wards on the west bank of Ngawun River and is being built by Construction Group-16 of the Department of Bridge under the ministry at an estimated cost of Ks. 28.5 billion. 20 engineers from the Department of Bridge and more than 200 skilled workers currently involves in the construction of the bridge that will be an important structure in Ayeyawady Region, said Daw Thit Thit Aung, Project Engineer and Director of the Department of Bridge. The bridge construction project has been about 83 per cent finished so far, she added. The bridge is of a steel reinforced concrete facility and is 2,380-ft long with 28-ft wide traffic route. The bridge will be able to withstand up to 60 tonnes of weight and will have 5-ft wide pedestrian lanes on each side.
The width of pillars and height for waterway will be 416-ft and 60-ft respectively. Construction of the bridge began on 27 October 2018 and the facility is slated for completion in July this year. With rapid urbanization of Pathein City and urgent need for extension of urban residential housings on the west bank of Ngawun River, the Pathein Bridge-2 is built by the ministry, she said. The bridge is expected to become an important landmark for Pathein, contribute to regional development and offer a faster route to beaches such as Ngwehsaung, Chaungtha and Shwe Thaung Yan, and to Ayeyawady Region and Rakhine State’s coastal roads. Upon completion of the bridge as scheduled, locals will be able to easily transport fishery products in the region to major cities in the country without any delays.
In addition, local people now can directly travel between Pathein and nearby areas by car in an easily manner. Be it what it may, road transportation will no longer be a headache for local people. The local government has been attempting to upgrade basic infrastructure projects in the region, pouring majority of its budget into reconstruction and upgrade of the road networks, to make operational in all seasons. The Labutta (Pinlal Lay) Bridge was inaugurated by State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi in late December last year. The ministry built a suspension bridge (Pinlal Lay) capable of withstanding 36 tonnes of weight in 1996 and finished it in1998. Its load capacity declined after 2008 Nargis cyclone, and only 20 tonnes of weight were allowed for passing over the bridge.
After the damage of Myaungmya suspension bridge in April 2018, the strength of Labutta (Pinlal Lay) Bridge was tested with the help of Chinese engineers. Based on the test results, the bridge’s capacity was categorized as level 4 and the maximum load of 14 tonnes was allowed for passing over it. In the financial year 2018-2019, the old bridge was removed, and the Japanese technology steel box girder was used in constructing a new bridge. The new bridge is 1340 ft. long and 30.5 ft. wide. The bridge’s clearance is about 29 ft. and waterway under the bridge is 192 ft. and it can withstand up to 60 tons of weight. The repair work for the old bridge has been undertaken by the Construction Group-1 under the ministry since 1 October 2018.
“The bridge enables travellers and local people to transport local goods to other areas. We encountered many difficulties when renovation of the bridge was carried out. Sometimes, we had to spend one night at the jetty near the bridge as we couldn’t catch up the vessels. Now we no longer face such challenges,” Ko Kyaw Min Oo, a truck driver said.