Chinese Experts Visit to Thanlyin Bridge after 25 years

9 January 2019

It has been more than 25 years since the Thanlyin bridge was completed and opened to traffic in July 1993. On January 7, more than 20 representatives of Chinese engineers who participated in the Thanlyin Bridge construction project returned to Yangon and reunited with the old Myanmar experts who they worked together at the time of bridge construction. This delightful reunion was organized on the invitation of the Chinese Embassy in Myanmar and the China Railway Bridge Bureau.

The Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to Myanmar Mr. Hong Liang said that this bridge is the full expression of friendship and cooperation between the two countries. He said experts from both countries lived together on this bridge and they faced the struggles together like a whole family. He also said not only this bridge helped to improve the friendship, it also helped to train a large number of bridge experts in Myanmar.

"This bridge is the first large bridge on the big river in Myanmar. It has a milestone significance in the history of bridge development in Myanmar. It is also very important in the history of aid cooperation between our two countries. Experts live with the same family, just like the family, and struggle for the construction of the bridge. This is the full expression of our friendship. And the construction of this bridge has cultivated a large number of bridge experts for Myanmar, which can be said to be construction. A bridge to train a group of people."

It was the largest project of China's assistance to Myanmar at that time of construction. Since the preparation period for construction in 1985, more than 500 Chinese experts and engineers have come to Yangon to participate in the construction of the Thanlyin Bridge.

U Thant Zin who is 87 years old this year, participated in this Bridge construction 25 years ago. He talked us about his feeling for this reunion event and how much he feels grateful for completion of this bridge.

“The feelings between us have surpassed friendship. All of our two countries are involved in the construction of this seat. The engineers of the bridge struggle for a goal. This is a kind of comrade, for our common ideals. A lot of important materials for building this bridge are provided by China. What's more important is that Chinese engineers have taught us a lot of new knowledge and many experiences. You know, this bridge is the first bridge in our country. We No previous experience."

In 1985, the Chinese preparation team of 18 people arrived in Yangon and began surveying and preparation work with the assistance of Myanmar experts. In October 1986, the bridge officially started construction and it took over 9 years to complete.

Li Zhongsheng, then the director of the Chinese project at the bridge, recalled the difficulties he faced at the time of construction.

“This river is very wide. It rises and falls twice a day. The drop reaches 6 meters. In this case, it is difficult to carry out construction and the language is not good. The natural conditions in this place are not developed. It was very difficult to solve the problems."

The Thanlyin Bridge located in the southeast of Yangon City and it includes both a highway and a railway. The train passes through the railroad tracks in the center of the bridge and the cars pass through the highways on both sides of the railroad. The length of the highway bridge is 2.15 kilometers and the length of the railway bridge is 2.9 kilometers.

U Tint Swe who worked as the Director  General at that time of construction for Thanlyin Bridge Project talked about his feelings for this reunion occasion.

“Today is a great day because we successfully arranged for the old experts who constructed this bridge to come and visit here after this long time. In this occasion, I would like to thank the experts from MEC and Myanmar Experts from this bridge project in regard of the Ministry of Construction and our country. I also would like to suggest that this bridge is old enough and we need maintenance for this bridge to make it long lasting.”

Thawtar