With one of Asia’s longest wood bridge damaged & in limbo, villagers build floating bamboo bridge to stay connect

Saphan Mon

Saphan Mon (Photo credit: Trakarn)

When a bridge, Sapan Mon, said to be one of Asia’s longest wood bridge, over the river connecting their villages collapsed, people in Sangkhla Buri decided to build their own floating bridge from bamboo, and the new wooden bridge was completed in record time. A great example of what can be achieved by villagers with a “can do” attitude. The newly-completed floating bridge links the two banks of Song Kalia River in Kanchanaburi, after the Saphan Mon bridge collapsed. It is still not clear when the “real” bridge, said to have collapsed because of weed build-up, will be repaired. More than 500 residents of tambon Nong Lu in Sangkha Buri district spent six days building the floating bridge following the collapse of the Saphan Mon bridge. The raft stretches across 450 meters of the river, from one bank to the other. It was initially expected to take take two to three weeks to complete, but the people in the two villages, Thais and ethnic Mon people, were determined to show they were a united community and finished the job in record time, Pakorn Noikate, Mayor of tambon Wang Ka Municipality, said. Saphan Mon was brought down on July 28, 2013 by a build-up of weeds around the support struts, said to have been caused by strong currents during heavy rains in Sangkhla Buri. The 850-meter-long bridge, including approaches, spanned the Song Kalia River and linked Moo 2 and Moo 3 in tambon Nong Lu. Its collapse devastated residents of the two communities, adding greatly to their transportation costs. The floating bridge’s construction was under the supervision of the Abbot of Wat Sang Wiwekkaram. He also organized the donation of extra bamboo after it was feared there would not be enough to complete the job. The temporary, floating bridge will be open for public use after its gets a safety clearance. (Source)

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