Using support from the Asia Development Bank, Thailand is planning to restart construction of the road between Myawaddy and Kawkareik Town in Karen State by the end of 2012.
Saw Khin Maung Myint, the Karen State Transport Minister confirmed in an interview with Karen News that the planned road construction is part of the highway connection between Thingan Nyi Naung to Kawkareik and will initially be built by Thailand.
“Construction vehicles coming from Thailand are now arriving at Myawaddy. In the mean time, engineers are carrying out surveys and then they will start to build the road.”
Burmese authorities say the existing 56 kilometers long stretch of the Myawaddy to Kawkareik mountain road is one-way and it is intended the new road project will reduce that distance by one-third.
A motorcycle taxi driver who works the Myawaddy-Kawkareik route spoke to Karen News.
“Taxi drivers will be able to take passenger twice-a-day if the new road is built. The current road is too narrow, dangerous and gets damaged a lot in the monsoon rains.”
The Karen State Transport Minister said Burmese engineers would manage the road construction project in conjunction with Thailand.
The new Myawaddy to Kawkareik road has been in the planning since 2004 and was suspended in 2005 for due to fighting between the Karen Nation Union and the government military.