Burma and Thailand to build second Friendship Bridge on border

Burma’s Ministry of Construction plans to build a second Friendship Bridge between the Burma border town of Myawaddy and the Thai town of Mae Sot.

Plans to build the bridge were reported in the Thai media citing from a media statement released by the Burmese government’s Ministry of Construction, director, U Kyaw Lin, who said that the reason for the new bridge was that the existing bridges load-carrying capacity at the Myawaddy/Mae Sot was too low and only small to medium sized vehicles could use it. The proposed second bridge intends to increase the load-carrying capacity to enable 60-ton vehicles to comfortably cross.

The Myawaddy district administr,ator U Myint Tin, confirmed to Karen News that the Thai and Burma governments have selected a construction site for the bridge and have set a completion target in 2014.

“Our government and the Thai government have signed the agreement to build the bridge, but there is still a need to develop the detailed plan. Nothing has started yet with the implementation.”

The Burmese government’s deputy Construction Minister, U Kyaw Lwin , confirmed in the country’s national parliament that plans to build the bridge with Thailand’s support are underway.

According to the Burma Construction Minister, both countries selected from a possible three sites, a location north of the existing bridge. The new site is three miles away from Myawaddy town.

Deputy Construction Minister U Kyaw Lwin said it is planned that a highway – that will tunnel through the Dawna Ranges – will connect Myawaddy Town to Kawkariek Town.

In July 18, 2010, Burma closed the Myawaddy-Mae Sot border in retaliation, for what it claims was the unofficial construction of a concrete embankment on the Thai side and after the negotiation Burma agreed to reopen it on December 5, 2011.

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