Work on Latest Rangoon Flyovers Finished Soon, Say Builders

By Moe Myint 10 December 2015

RANGOON —  Two of the three traffic flyovers will soon be finished, according to builders, after questions were once again raised over efforts to reduce the city’s worsening congestion problem.

Work is currently underway on three new flyovers at Tamwe, Kokkine and 8 Mile junctions, with lane closures and detours exacerbating already severe traffic problems south of Kandawgyi Lake and along Kabar Aye Pagoda Road. Similar congestion problems were seen during the construction of flyovers at Sanchaung, Hledan, Bahan and Mayangone townships.

On Monday, outspoken divisional lawmaker Dr Nyo Nyo Thin asked the divisional government what measures the government was taking to address traffic issues in the city in light of the fact that the construction of flyovers had not alleviated congestion.

At a press conference on Wednesday called to discuss the government’s traffic strategy, Kyaw Soe, the divisional Minister of Forestry and Energy, said that the government had spent 129.8 billion kyats on the flyovers over the course of the last five years. He added that the government was preparing to implement new rapid transit bus routes and had ordered 60 new buses from overseas in order to make public transport a more viable option for a greater segment of the population.

Work will soon be finished on two of the three flyovers currently under construction, according to the firms responsible.

Thein Swe, a project director for Crown Advanced Construction Co., which began building the 8 Mile flyover in early 2015, said that work had been delayed by subterranean obstructions such as water pipelines and telecommunications cables, but construction would be finished by the last day of 2015. Capital Development Ltd., which built the Shwegondaing Rd and Myaynigone flyovers, expects the Kokkine flyover to be finished by Union Day on Feb. 12.

Ye Myint, a spokesman for the Shwe Taung Group, would not be drawn on the exact finish date of the Tamwe project, saying that the 4,800-foot length of the flyover and its winding shape posed a greater logistical challenge than the other two projects.

Lt-Col Aung Ko Oo of the Rangoon Division Traffic Police told Wednesday’s press conference that a contingent of officers had been deployed around the flyovers in an effort to reduce car accidents and to stop vehicles worsening the congestion problem by crossing into oncoming lanes.

Hla Aung, chairman of the Rangoon Division Supervisory Committee for Motor Vehicles, also known by its Burmese acronym Ma Hta Tha, said that his agency’s plans to build a citywide traffic control center was still at the tender stage. Proposed last year and expected to cost in the order of 20 billion kyats, more than 20 foreign companies have submitted bids for the project.