Highway upgrade to finish within five years
The government is calling on foreign investors to contribute to the improvement of the notorious YangonNay Pyi Taw “Death Highway”.
FOREIGN investors will be asked to help improve the notorious Yangon-Nay Pyi Taw highway, with upgrades to be completed during the term of the current government. There are plans to widen the road to six lanes, fence it off and provide underpasses for pedestrians.
Speaking at an August 16 press conference, U Kyaw Lin, permanent secretary of the Ministry of Construction, said the Nay Pyi Taw-Mandalay leg of the highway would also eventually be improved.
“We’re asking for help from foreign investors because the budgetary requirements are very large. We expect to upgrade the Yangon-Nay Pyi Taw stretch within five years,” U Kyaw Lin told journalists, without stipulating the estimated sum required or the identity of possible international partners.
“According to the master plan, the highway will be six lanes wide, with a traffic median, and with fences on each side to keep out animals and pedestrians. Motorcycles will not be permitted to use the highway,” he said, adding that underpasses would allow local residents to cross the road.
Under the former government, companies from Japan, South Korea and France showed interest in improving the road under a build-operate-transfer (BOT) system, with 156 companies viewing the tender, and 26 companies showing an expression of interest. However, the government will not use the BOT system, said U Kyaw Lin.
“That would require us to collect user fees from motorists until the cost was recovered. We have decided instead to maintain the road at the expense of the state,” he said.
Seven private companies are working on stretches of road on a BOT basis: Max, Shwe Thanlwin, Shwe Taung (Hi Star), Kambawza Highway, Asia World, Yuzana and Thawdawin are working on stretches of road from Yangon to Bago, Bago to Nyaunglaybin, Nyaunglaybin to Kyauktada, Kyauktada to Phyu, Phyu to Nay Pyi Taw, and Nay Pyi Taw to Meiktila.
The government is seeking foreign investors to help upgrade the Yangon-Nay Pyi Taw highway, popularly known as the Highway of Death due to the high number of deadly accidents that have occurred there.