16 May 2021, Minbya
The new Rar Maung Bridge in Minbya Township, Arakan State, will open to traffic by the end of this month, according to an official from the Road and Bridge Group (7), which is responsible for the bridge’s construction.
The bridge is currently being tested for durability and will be allowed to open if the design department approves the results, said U Min Khine, deputy director of the Road and Bridge Group (7).
“Construction of the bridge is completed. We are conducting a load test. The results must be returned to the design department after a load test for public transportation. We can allow vehicles to traverse only if everything goes well after their inspection. Generally, vehicles will be allowed to travel by the end of this month,” he said.
While the bridge was under construction, heavy vehicles had to cross the Rar Maung River by boat, often resulting in bottlenecks and slowing down the flow of goods.
One of the two vessels ferrying vehicles was damaged and taken out of commission in late March, leaving scores of buses stranded and perishable cargo at risk of spoiling.
The Rar Maung River crossing is a major road link to and from Yangon, Mandalay, Minbya and Sittwe.
“This bridge is one of the main roads leading to northern Arakan State,” explained U Tin Aung Oo, chairman of the Arakan State Chamber of Commerce and Industry. “When we do not have [both transport vessels operating], we face many difficulties. And if you’re bringing perishable goods, you’re in big trouble.”
Construction of the new Rar Maung Bridge began on October 1, 2018, at an estimated cost of K12 billion.