Rangoon Govt Plans More Flyovers to Ease Traffic Woes

By Nobel Zaw & May Kha 4 December 2014

RANGOON — The Rangoon Division government hopes to alleviate the commercial capital’s chronic traffic congestion problems with the construction of three more flyovers in the 2015-16 budget year.

The infrastructure, discussed during a special meeting of the division parliament on Wednesday, will cost almost 54 billion kyats (US$52 million) in total, approximately 10 percent of the divisional government’s annual budget.

Under the proposal, flyovers will be constructed at the intersection of Kabar Aye Pagoda Road and Pyay Road in Mayangone Township, Kabar Aye Pagoda Road and University Avenue in Bahan, and the five-street intersection which includes Shwegondaing and Tha Mein Ba Yan Roads in Tamwe.

Rangoon Mayor Hla Myint said that the flyovers are critical to reduce congestion in some of the city’s most congested areas.

“We are planning these bridges because of heavy traffic jams. If these bridges are finished, traffic congestion will reduce quite substantially,” he said.

Other lawmakers have questioned the effectiveness of the proposals.

“Building the bridges cannot solve the traffic problems,” Kyaw, a Rangoon Division lawmaker, told The Irrawaddy. “They cost billions. To build the bridge [in Bahan] is not necessary.”

Kyaw added that a more urgent priority is the construction of a proper junction at Waizayanthar Street and Lay Daungkan Road near the Thuwanna National Stadium, to the northeast of the proposed five street intersection in Tamwe.

Three flyover bridges have been constructed by the divisional government in the last two years, with a further overpass currently under construction at Myanigone junction in Sanchaung Township.

The number of cars on the road in Rangoon has risen dramatically in recent years, with a dramatic rise in congestion across the city. Approximately 412,000 cars are registered in Rangoon Division, with many others registered in neighboring divisions at a lower cost and predominantly used in Rangoon, according to Chief Minister Myint Swe.