THE ROAD LESS TRAVELED — Two sections of YGN-MDY highway to be upgraded as part of 100-day plan

The aim to upgrade the two sections of the Yangon-Mandalay Highway is to reduce traffic accidents on them.
The aim to upgrade the two sections of the Yangon-Mandalay Highway is to reduce traffic accidents on them.

CONSTRUCTION Union Minister U Win Khaing announced a project to upgrade two ten-mile sections of the Yangon-Mandalay highway at a briefing on the launch of his ministry’s 100-day development plan.
The union minister gave a guarantee of road quality, stressing that severe action would be taken against the engineer in charge of the construction if an upgraded section of the road fails to endure for five years.
The project is part of the 100-day plan which is intended to reduce traffic accidents along the highway.
The first section to be upgraded will be between mileposts 15/0 and 25/0, and the second between mileposts 163/0 and 173/0.
Union Minister U Win Khaing described the project as a criterion to be used for estimating the cost of further improving the 366-mile-long highway, vowing to make the estimated cost known to the government and the public.
According to the union minister, the other two projects included in the 100-day development plan are the construction of an affordable 5-storey apartment building with 40 rooms and the establishment of speedy grant schemes for householders.
Myanmar and the United States entered into an agreement in October 1959 to hire a foreign engineering group called Louis Berger & Associates to carry out a feasibility investment study on the construction of a modern highway linking Yangon and Mandalay. The group presented its initial report of engineering work for the project in February 1960. However, construction did not materialise for various reasons until 2004.
Construction resumed after the Special Projects Implementation Committee decided to continue the construction as a four-lane highway on 30 March 2004. The decision was reached by Public Works in cooperation with military engineers.
The 366-mile-long highway passes through 156 villages and 15 townships in Yangon, Bago, Nay Pyi Taw and Mandalay.
Plans are underway to upgrade it to an eight-lane highway, with officials saying that preliminary earth work has been completed in preperation for that project.

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