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Posted on:2015-03-06 16:46:30    Source:http://www.miscnotes.com   

Held in Yangon during January, the 2nd Myanmar Transport & Logistics Summit laid out the needs of the country in terms of transportation, pointing the way to future construction works. CEAR regional editor, Ken Barrett, attended the conference. 

Myanmar has enormous development potential now that real progress is being made in promoting democracy within this resource-rich country, and implementing the infrastructural projects that will be needed for Myanmar to have a modern economy. There is going to be an enormous volume of construction work and demand for essential construction equipment.

The 2nd Myanmar Transport & Logistics Summit, held over the course of two days was concerned primarily with transport related projects but also revealed the scale of construction that is going to be needed in the years to come.

U Win Khant, director general of the Department of Transport, gave the opening address, saying that Myanmar is situated at the junction of South and Southeast Asia and therefore carried great geopolitical importance for regional connectivity.

Since transport sector development plays a vital role in fostering and advancing economic and social development, the emergence of Myanmar’s National Transport Master Plan is significant, he said.

“The National Transport Master Plan has been formulated by the assistance of the government of Japan with the cooperation and coordination of relevant ministries such as the Ministry of Rail Transportation and Ministry of Construction.

“This master plan will also provide guidelines that are adaptable to other sectors and private investment, and assist with investment planning and decision making for a variety of transport sector projects.

“In this way, the master plan will influence development of the transport and logistics sector, by presenting a set of policies that are relevant to all modes of transport, as well as development strategies for specific modes like road, rail, air, maritime and inland waterway transport.”

One of the keynote speakers was Kyaw Kaung Cho, executive engineer (civil) for the Bridge Section of the Public Works Department, under the Ministry of Construction, who spoke on the construction programme of roads and bridges in Myanmar.

Mr Cho said that the total length of all the roads in Myanmar was 157,058 km, and that these were of all surface types i.e. concrete, bitumen and asphalt, metal, gravel, earth and mule roads.

The Public Works Department was responsible for almost a quarter of these, at 39,702 km, with the military being responsible for 10,426 km, and the Ministry of Livestock, Fisheries and Development responsible for the largest individual share, at 96,779 km.

The bulk of the remainder came under the city authorities for Yangon, Mandalay and Naypyitaw.

Across the total roads, only 23 % were paved (flexible and rigid paving), but of the roads under the Public Works Department, 48 % were paved.

Spending on roads and bridges surged in 2011 as the First Five-Year Plan for Roads came into effect: under that plan, which ends in 2016, 655 km of new roads are being built while upgrading or maintaining is being undertaken on 39,390 km.

As much of the country is covered by basic road facilities, the three subsequent five-year plans focus less on new construction and more on upgrading and maintenance.

The Second Five-Year Plan 2016-2021 sees 96 km of new roads planned, but upgrading for 40,215 km. For the Third Plan the figures are 72 km and 40,505 km, and for the Fourth Plan, 64 km and 40,778 km.

Separate to these figures however is the proposed Yangon-Mandalay Expressway, an eight-lane asphalt and concrete pavement that will run for 586 km and be financed under a build-operate-transfer scheme.

International and local companies will be invited to bid for the job, either individually or in joint venture.

Myanmar is currently implementing or planning several road and bridge projects with Japan.

Amongst these are a road upgrading and maintenance project at Kayin State, and the Kyaing Pin Sae-Zalun road in the Ayeyarwaddy Region. A Japanese loan will also be funding the 8.7km Yangon Thilawa road project.

Projects are being planned with South Korea, including the 156km Min Bu-Ann road in Rakhine State, and the 102 km Mu Don-Kaw Kereik road in Kayin State.

Feasibility studies for these two projects have been completed by Korea Expressway Co. Korea’s Sambo Engineering has meanwhile carried out a feasibility study for the new Dala Bridge in Yangon Region.

In Kayin State, a project to upgrade 136 km of the East-West Corridor is to be undertaken with a loan from the Asian Development Bank.

Works on the ASEAN Highway will include at least two tunnels: a 5 km stretch from Pontaung to Ponnyar and a 3.6 km tunnel through the Watalone Mountain. These will be funded by loans and will come under the PWD.

Myanmar’s Kalewa-Kyigone-Tamu road, being built with Indian aid, will require the construction of 69 bridges.

In Yangon, the Thaketa Bridge that will cross Pazundaung Creek on the eastern side of the city has already been agreed. The existing Thaketa Bridge, built in 1967 with the assistance of the Canadian government, can no longer cope with traffic demand and a new bridge will replace it.

The new structure will be built with the help of the Japan International Cooperation Agency, JICA, and will be 253 m in length. Foundations will be cast in-situ concrete piling, while the bridge will be a precast concrete and box girder three-span structure.

To the northwest of the city, the Wataya Bridge is planned as a new crossing of the Hlaing River. This is intended to promote new towns and industrial zones in this part of Yangon, with new developments planned for several locations.

Preliminary studies have been undertaken on various bridge types, but no decision has yet been made.

The second part of this report will appear in the next issue of CEAR.

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