China and Myanmar on Tuesday signed a letter for implementing the new Kunlong Bridge Project aided by Beijing in Myanmar’s northern Shan state to replace the old one.
The new bridge project, located on Theinni-Kunlong-Chinshwehaw road and crossing the Thanlwin River, extends about 4.2 km in total. The length of the bridge is about 323 metres and the linking roads are about 3.9 km in length, Xinhua news agency reported.
Speaking at the signing ceremony in Nay Pyi Taw, Chinese Ambassador Hong Liang said that once the project is completed, it would greatly improve the transport and logistic condition between northern Shan state and border areas of China’s Yunnan province as well as between other areas in Myanmar.
The project would specially facilitate the transportation of Myanmar’s agricultural and livestock products to China, thus boosting the rapid development of border trade between the two countries.
It would also further push the prosperity of neighbouring Mengding-Chinshwehaw border gate and raise the level of employment as well as the income of the local inhabitants, the Ambassador said, adding that the new Kunlong Bridge would also contribute to the harmony and stability of Shan state and play an important role in the tranquility of border areas.
Myanmar Minister of Construction U Han Zaw said the bridge project will not only benefit northern Shan state but also become a part of the Belt and Road Initiative, adding that the bridge construction will become the landmark of the two countries and further enhance bilateral friendship.
The construction of the old Kunlong Bridge was started in 1964 and completed in 1965 with the assistance of Chinese engineers. It had an original load capacity of 40 tonnes but the bridge decking system now has some problems due to old age.