27 MAY 2020 - Source: Myanmar Times

The Ministry of Construction last week submitted a proposal to Parliament for an additional US$20 million loan from South Korea for the construction of the Myanmar-Korea Friendship Bridge, or Dala Bridge.

The loan, which will be drawn from Korea's Economic Development and Cooperation Fund at a rate of 0.01 per cent, will be used to cover additional costs for changes to the design of the bridge, said U Kyaw Lin, Deputy Minister of Construction.

The changes include extending the width of the waterway to 300m from 250m before and bridge opening to 370m from 320m before.

An agreement on the initial loan of US$137.8 million from the Koreans for the bridge was signed on November 16, 2015. As such, the changes will bring the total borrowed to $157.8 million.

As part of the 2015 agreement, the Myanmar government will also fork out a further $30.3 million for the construction of the bridge.

After including the additional costs for the design change, the total cost to build the Dala Bridge is now expected to amount to $188.1 million.

Once completed, the 1.9km bridge will ease travel between Yangon City and Dala, Twante and Kawhmu townships and also reduce traffic congestion in Yangon City. The bridge will also connect Dala, one of the region's poorest townships, to more urban development.

Construction, which began in December 2018, is expected to be complete in October 2022, ten years after it was first announced in May 2012. - Translated