YANGON—Construction on the Yangon side of the planned Yangon-Dala Bridge will begin next month, regional Chief Minister U Phyo Min Thein said at a regional investment committee meeting on Wednesday.
Spanning the Yangon River, the bridge—also known as the Korea-Myanmar Friendship Bridge, as it is funded by South Korea’s Economic Development Cooperation Fund (EDCF)—will link downtown Yangon and Dala Township.
The bridge is scheduled to be complete in early 2022, the chief minister said. “Work on the approach road on the Yangon side will begin next month. Construction materials have already arrived,” he said.
The bridge will link Bonegyi Street in Lanmadaw Township with Bo Min Yaung Street in Dala, requiring Bonegyi Street to be closed to public transport, he said, adding that some Yangon Bus Service (YBS) lines will have to be diverted.
“Private cars can use the street, but YBS buses will have to change their routes to avoid traffic congestion,” he said.
Bonegyi Street will be closed to YBS buses for a year and five months from Aug. 1, 2019 through October 2021.
The four-lane, cable-stayed bridge will be 6,144 feet long with a clearance of 160 feet, and flanked by a 4-meter-wide pedestrian walk, according to the Construction Ministry.
It is expected to cost approximately US$168 million (nearly 254 billion kyats). EDCF will provide a 40-year, US$137.833 million loan at an interest rate of 0.01 percent, according to Union Construction Minister U Han Zaw.
The government has paid over 3.64 billion kyats in compensation to local residents whose land was needed for the project.
Currently, thousands of Dala residents who work in Yangon must rely on ferries to reach the city. Despite its proximity to Yangon, Dala is still largely rural and undeveloped.
Construction on the Dala side began some two months ago, according to Yangon region lawmaker U Tun Yin of Dala Township.
“Transportation will improve a lot when the bridge comes into service. It will also contribute to the development of Dala,” he said.
The bridge will make Yangon and Irrawaddy regions accessible to each other by road via Dala, Twante, Kunchangon and Kawhmu townships.