24 Sep 2020 - Source: Myanmar Times - Nine people working on the construction of Dala Bridge who were quarantined for COVID-19 have tested positive for the coronavirus. Work on the project will now be suspended for as long as the Yangon stay-at-home order is in place.

"After we detected the first four positive cases at Dala Bridge, we put 11 primary contacts in quarantine and took swab tests. Nine have tested positive and the other two were found negative. All primary contacts have been placed under quarantine, and there are no more people who had contact with them," said Dala Township Public Health Department Head and General Hospital Chief Physician Dr. Tun Win.

Four Myanmar engineers involved in the Dala Bridge Project were found positive on September 16, after which construction works on the Dala side of the bridge was halted.

"We have now arranged to suspend construction from September 24 to October 7 according to the Yangon stay-home order. Construction work on both sides of the Dala Bridge will be suspended," said U Kyaw Kaung Cho, who heads the project.

Construction of the bridge is currently about 20 percent complete, he said.

Up until last month, construction of the Dala Bridge was being carried out around the clock to be complete by October 2022.

The bridge, also known as the Myanmar – Korea Friendship Bridge, is expected to cost US$168 million (K257 billion), and is being funded by a US$137.8 million loan from the South Korea Economic Development Cooperation Fund at an interest rate of 0.01 percent. The remaining US$30.3 million will be funded by the Myanmar government.

Construction of the bridge, which will connect Dala township across the Yangon River to downtown Yangon, began in May 2019 and is slated to be complete in October 2022.

The four-lane cable-stayed bridge will be 4.3 kilometers in length and 27 meters in width. It will also feature a pipeline that will distribute freshwater to Dala township, where water shortage is a common issue. Dala is also one of the poorest townships in Yangon and its residents rely on small motorised boats to cross the river.