Improving Connectivity of Myanmar’s Yangon Region along the East-West Economic Corridor
Car usage is on the rise in Yangon causing much traffic congestion in the city. Photo: ADB
Plans are underway to connect Yangon in Myanmar with the Bago Region and Mon State through new expressways along the Greater Mekong Subregion’s (GMS) East-West Economic Corridor. The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) will provide financing assistance to build more efficient highways that will promote safer movement of goods and people.
The Myanmar Times shared that work is expected to start soon on a new road linking Thanlyin (Yangon Region) to Bago (Bago Region). Mr. Kyaw Lin, Myanmar’s Deputy Minister of Construction, said that the project will be built with financing support from JICA costing around $160 million (K228.5 billion). JICA will also support the Ministry of Construction in building a new 2.3 kilometer bridge over the Sittaung River, connecting Bago and Kyaikhto (Mon State). Completion of the bridge is expected in 2026.
The Government of Myanmar and ADB are also in talks over a new 70-km expressway that will connect Bago to Kyaikhto. The current Bago–Kyaikhto road experiences a high volume of traffic, and this is expected to increase further between 2020 and 2025. A pre-feasibility study prepared by JICA recommended construction of a new arterial highway to halve travel time and provide ease to commuters. The planned highway will address the road’s capacity issues. It is estimated to cost around $500 million.
The planned road improvements will feature all-weather road infrastructure, said Mr. Kyaw Lin, to further spur economic development, regional economic growth, and international industrial competitiveness.