A bridge too frail
A wooden bridge on Kandawgyi Lake threatens to collapse any minute.
KANDAWGYI Park provides an oasis in the middle of the sprawling concrete city of Yangon. Residents particularly cherish the old wooden bridge that goes all around Kandawgyi Lake.
Families come there for weekend strolls. Lovers take their wedding pictures there. So do tourists.
Every day, hundreds of Yangonites cross the bridge to go to work. B ut all of that is at risk. The bridge badly needs repairing but the Yangon City Development Committee (YCDC) is dragging its feet.
When the Myanmar Times raised the issue earlier this year, U Ko Ko Lwin, the head of the Gardens Department, assured us that the budget had been foreseen for the bridge to be fixed.
But we are saddened to hear that YCDC could only gather K500,000 out of the 3 billions kyats necessary to properly repair it.
“We are drawing plans to redesign the bridge and use concrete material. We will start in four places: behind the Bogyoke Aung San bronze statue, along the Karaweik, near the Paganlone island and near the Western Park restaurant,” said U Tin Tun Oo, assistant head of the Roads and Bridges Department of YCDC.
“Wood is very expensive, and it is not the most suitable material near the water,” he added.
He also explained that reparation will be incremental and implemented one year after the other, starting with the most decrepit bits of the bridge – of which there are many.
Entire planks of woods are missing creating dangerous holes. Rusty nails come out of the remaining ones. Barriers preventing pedestrians to fall into the water are completely destroyed. Each step taken on the bridge is accompanied by a rather scary squeaking noise.
Good view, but for the few Kandawgyi Lake Bridge was repaired in 2015 and 2016, but only in parts visible from the main road in front of the Signature restaurant and in front of the Kandawgyi Palace hotel.
The management of the Kandawgyi Palace assured Weekend that they had nothing to do with the renovation of the bridge in front of their hotel. Perhaps YCDC deemed these parts more urgent.
Tinkering on the edges might do for now, but if one day the bridge falls apart, everybody will come down with it – irrespective of their wealth.