Myanma Port Authority is not opposed to the Yangon-Dala Bridge construction project, but has just requested the extension of the middle piers for the safety of vessel manoeuvring: U Ni Aung, Managing Director of Myanma Port Authority
The Myanma Port Authority has requested the construction ministry to keep a safe distance between the two piers in the middle of Yangon-Dala Bridge to avoid a possible ship collision and other accidents.
“The proposed location of the bridge construction area is close to the confluence of the three rivers, and so, it is vulnerable to collision. This being so, we have asked the ministry to widen the gap between the two piers and to keep them close to each bank. This does not mean we object to the bridge construction. We suggested this to the Ministry of Construction to facilitate port handling,” said U Ni Aung, Managing Director of Myanma Port Authority.
The Bridge Management Department under the Ministry of Construction has been conducting a feasibility study since the 2012-2013 fiscal year, together with Top Engineering Consultant International Co. Ltd, South Korea’s EXIM Bank, and Sumbo Engineering Group. Since then, the Myanma Port Authority also participated in the discussion. According to suggestions given by the Myanma Port Authority between the 2012-2013 FY and the 2015-2016 FY, a cable-stayed bridge having a height of 60 metres should be constructed. A through arch bridge without piers might be preferable upon conditions.
The Ministry of Construction responded that the bridge-tunnel will maximise the cost. If the bridge height is 60 metres, it would be steep, and not ensure traffic safety.
The multi-stakeholders in the project agreed to set a height of 49 metres. Currently, the distance between the two piers is only 251 metres. A series of discussions are being made regarding the distance between the piers.
The construction of the bridge will help enhance the socio-economy of the regions. Ports have been playing a vital role to facilitate the export/import businesses. The degrading of the Yangon river navigation channel and enhancing of the port facility and activity will also enhance the country’s export sector.
About 60 ships, including 15 container ships, might pass under the bridge every day. Therefore, it is vulnerable to ship collision, said U Ni Aung.
The proposed location of the bridge construction is near Twantay canal, which sees many types of ships such as general cargo vessels, container vessels, coastal ships, inland water barges, and fishing boats, among others. It is prone to collision.
“We requested the authorities to consider the possibilities of collision prior to the completion of the bridge construction. We will also take prevention and precautionary measures if the project is implemented according to the initial plan,” said U Ni Aung.
The Myanma Port Authority has planned to procure an additional nine 5,000-HP-tug boats to ensure the safe manoeuvring of the vessels along the Yangon river. Currently, they have been assisting the vessels with five tug boats with moderate engine power.
The Yangon-Dala Bridge is a friendship bridge between Myanmar and Republic of Korea. The project kicked off in February 2016 and is slated to be completed in 2020. The ground clearing work is underway. The demolishing of the project area, compensation to the landlords and the rehabilitation works are being carried out.
The four-lane bridge will be 1,900 feet long. It is funded by the South Korea and Myanmar governments, bringing in over US$137 million by South Korea and over $30 million by Myanmar’s government.
By May Thet Hnin