Authorities re-allow trucks on Gyaing suspension bridge

Ko Shwe Thein
Traffic jams in Gyaing suspension bridge on Myawady border trade route


Authorities have re-allowed trucks to pass on Gyaing suspension bridge, located  Myawady border trade route after the bridge was temporarily closed for four days, according to traders.

“We have to pay Ks 25,000 per truck with above 40 tons of weight to use the bridge. The trucks are crossing the bridge again this morning,” said trader Myo Myint.

Although Thittautngat Company, granted permission by Kayin State government to run the road under BOT agreement, replaced a temporary bridge while the Gyaing suspension bridge it was barred from use, the increase water levels underneath the bridge made transportation a difficult job, causing heavy traffic jams after August 9.

While transport authorities issued a warning to disallow trucks weighting above 40 tons to cross the bridge from August 24, it was re-allowed after four days, a trader said.

“The main cause of the traffic jam is the suspension bridge. No truck was allowed on the bridge. Travellers face a great deal of trouble trying to cross. A patient from Kawkareik was sent to Hpa-an hospital with the aid of oxygen tank, which lasted for about six hours, died after the oxygen run out because of the traffic jam,” said a trader Toe Ni.

Despite the authorities instruction to charge Ks 25,000 for trucks weighing above 48.9 tons, the truck owners have to pay the same amount for their under 40-ton trucks. It is more than eight years for them to pay Ks3,000 per extra ton, said a truck driver.

The small bridge connecting with the suspension bridge is very narrow and trucks have skidded on the bridge frequently. The trade activities were on the decline this month as transportation has halted.

The government is losing its revenues from Myawady border trade route as road connecting between Kawkareik and Eindu is badly damaged and transportation is arduous along Gyaing suspension bridge. Traders are also losing their profits due to damages on trucks, cargos and unstable market prices.

Myanmar earned about US$30 million from export and US$275 million from import through Myawady border trade camp by August 17 in this fiscal year and it is decreased to US$16 million in compared with the same period in last fiscal year.