Mae Sai border bridge to get revamp

News in Asia
Mae Sai border bridge to get revamp

The bridge linking the far north of Thailand and Myanmar is going to get a long anticipated revamp. Council officers in the northern Thai town of Mae Sai have announced that they are just waiting for the green light for the THB7-million project to renovate the First Thai-Myanmar Friendship Bridge.

Local district boss Somchai Rungsakorn said the current bridge was built four decades ago and in that time has been hit by earthquakes and floods. During this year’s monsoon rains a flash flood swamped the bridge. Engineers say logs and sand swept up in the swirling waters damaged the bridge’s support struts.
   
The engineers say an inspection has revealed cracks in the bridge’s platform. The inspection also revealed that silt up to 1.5 meters deep is lodged under the bridge. Mr Rungsakorn says the repair work is urgent and needs to be started straight away so that tourism and trade links between the two nations are not interrupted.
 
This Thai-Myanmar Friendship Bridge spans the Mae Sai River and links Mae Sai to the Myanmese town of Tachilek. Immigration officers stationed at the bridge say up to 1.5 million people cross it every year. The border crossing is a popular destination for long-stay tourists when renewing their visas to stay in Thailand.

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