Permitted tonnage of vehicles crossing Pathein suspension bridge halved as repairs commence

Pathein suspension bridge.
Pathein suspension bridge.

REPAIRS are being made to the Pathein – Chaung Thar suspension bridge after ten blots broke off, causing the bridge to start sagging by around four inches on the morning of 7 February. As such, the tonnage weight limit of vehicles permitted to cross the bridge has been halved.
“Orders have been placed for materials needed to repair the bridge from the Steel factory. We will conduct repairs as soon as these parts arrived. The blots broke away from daily reverberations made by large vehicles crossing the bridge. There is nothing to be concerned about.” explained U Aye Win, an engineer from the Department of Public Construction and Bridges.
He also mentioned that prior to the sagging of the bridge, vehicles weighing less than 60 tonnes were permitted to cross the Pathein suspension bridge. Now however, as repairs are still being made, only vehicles weighing less than 30 tonnes have permission to cross, with the weight of vehicles being inspected at toll gates on both sides of the bridge, he said.
Officials and designers from the Department of Public Construction and Bridges came to inspect the bridge and found that blots between 100 – 200 tonnes must be used to mitigate the same incident from reoccurring. The department also made it known that there is no need for concern over other hanging suspension cords.
“To be honest, whether it’s once every six months or once a year, inspections should be carried out on the bridge. Only by conducting such regular inspections can we mitigate these kinds of things from happening in the future.” said U Ye Win, head assistant engineer of the Pathein township development committee.
The Pathein suspension is the only bridge which links the town with the coastal regions of Ngwe Thaung Yan, Ngwe Saung, Kyaung Thar and surrounding villages of Nga Yoke Kaung and Tharbaung towns.
The Pathein cast iron and concrete suspension bridge, which crosses the Ngawun river, was completed in November 2004 by the Ministry of Construction. It is 2,040 feet in length and features a road for vehicles 28 feet in width, with a four foot wide pedestrian path on either side.

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