New Thanlyin-Bago-Kyaikhto highways proposed

The government is set to build new expressways connecting Yangon Region, Bago Region, and Mon State with assistance from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and Asian Development Bank (ADB), a senior official of the Ministry of Construction has announced.

Deputy Minister of Construction U Kyaw Lin said that work is expected to start soon on a new road link connecting Thanlyin in the Yangon Region to Bago in the Bago Region. The project, expected to cost US$160 million (K228.5 billion), will be built with help from JICA.

U Kyaw Lin said another project involving a new expressway connecting Bago in Bago Region to Kyaikhto in Mon State, is being negotiated. The project, estimated to cost around US$500 million), will involve assistance from the ADB.

“These two projects with assistance from JICA and ADB will connect Yangon to the capital of Mon State, Mawlamyine, and will involve building a new bridge over the Sittaung River,” said the deputy minister.

The new bridge over the Sittaung River which will be constructed by the Ministry of Construction with assistance from JICA will connect Bago in Bago Region and Kyaikhto in Mon State and is expected to be completed in 2026.

The new highways are expected to bring about more efficient and safer movement of goods and people between Yangon Region, Bago Region, and Mon State, along the Greater Mekong Subregion East-West Economic Corridor. This in turn will support of economic development, regional economic growth, and international industrial competitiveness in a way that is safe, environmentally friendly and efficient thanks to safe, all-weather road infrastructure, U Kyaw Lin said.

A JICA spokesperson said the agency hopes to make the Thilawa Special Economic Zone near Yangon a vital link in the East-West Economic Corridor linking Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam.

The ADB stated that the proposed Bago-Kyaikhto expressway project will involve 70 kilometres of roadway along the Greater Mekong Subregion East-West Economic Corridor.

The project will address capacity issues on the Bago-Kyaikto section of the East-West Economic Corridor where the current two-lane road experiences high traffic. A pre-feasibility study prepared by JICA showed that the section would reach capacity between 2020 and 2025. Upgrading the current road is not the preferred solution, as it would come with high resettlement impacts, and because the alignment is long and winding in several areas. The project involves instead the construction of a new arterial highway shorter by 32km than the current alignment, which will halve travel time. The new arterial highway will be about 70 km long and includes a 2.3km bridge across the Sittaung River.

Source: Myanmar Times

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