YANGON — Transport authorities have been forced to close a bridge on the Yangon-Mandalay Expressway and divert traffic after sections of the structure began sinking into a flood-swollen creek.
Photos posted this morning by motorists and government agencies showed sections of the southbound bridge had sagged down into Swar Creek at the 165-mile mark of the highway, about 60 kilometres (37 miles) south of the administrative capital in Bago Region’s Yedashe Township.
The damage was first noticed at about 5:30am, the Fire Services Department said. Light traffic has been diverted onto the adjoining northbound bridge, with one lane open in each direction.
Senior General Min Aung Hlaing and Vice President U Henry Van Thio inspected the damage to the bridge later in the morning.
Flooding has also closed a nearby section of the old Yangon-Mandalay Highway at Swar, which has added to the transport difficulties.
The Fire Services Department said the flooding was caused by runoff from the nearby Swar Dam and that the water was 3 feet (90 centimetres) deep in some urban areas of Swar.
Volunteer rescue worker U Tin Maung Win said the level of the creek had receded about two feet but he was concerned at the prospect of further rain in the evening, which could exacerbate the flooding.