U Bein Bridge needs up­keep for pedestrians

The Myanmar Times - - News - PHYO WAI KYAW phy­owaikyaw@mm­times.com

IF trav­ellers are to be al­lowed to cross the iconic U Bein Bridge on Taungthaman Lake, it is go­ing to need con­stant up­keep, said Taungthaman Boat As­so­ci­a­tion chair U Soe Win.

The bridge, which was built in 1211 by town­ship of­fi­cial U Bein us­ing 1086 teak pil­lars, has been un­der re­pair since March. Myan­mar Teak­wood Com­pany has re­placed 300 pil­lars, U Soe Win said.

“If trav­ellers are not al­lowed to cross, the bridge can be left in its an­cient state,” he said on Au­gust 29. “If the trav­ellers are al­lowed to cross, it needs to be re­paired and main­tained.”

Many have crit­i­cized the re­pairs, and more than 200 pil­lars still need to be re­placed, he said. It is un­clear how long this will take.

The bridge is about 1500 me­tres (4900 feet) in length. Some sec­tions were de­stroyed in a 2004 flood. Teak pil­lars were re­placed by con­crete ones.

This year, lake wa­ter rose up over the bridge and tourists were tem­po­rar­ily stopped from crossing it. – Trans­la­tion by Khine Thazin Han

Photo: Phyo Wai Kyaw

Work­ers re­place teak beams on the iconic U Bein Bridge.

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