Thailand’s longest wooden bridge was completed this Thursday – by the residents of the two towns it connects. The previous “real” bridge, Saphan Mon, is said to have collapsed on July 28 after heavy rains and strong currents caused a build-up of weeds around its support struts.
500 residents of the Sangkhla Buri district then took part in building a temporary floating bridge of bamboo, which now spans the Song Kalia river. The collapse had caused a devastating dividing effect on local communities.
The construction of the 450m bridge, which was expected to require two to three weeks, took only six days. This, according to the Mayor of tambon Wang Ka Municipality Pakorn Noikate, was thanks to the desire and determination of locals – including Thais and ethnic Mon people – to demonstrate community strength and unity.
The new bridge was constructed under supervision from the abbot of Wat Sang Wiwekkaram, who also arranged for the donation of extra bamboo after concerns were raised there wouldn’t be enough to finish the job. The new bridge will be open to the public after achieving the required safety clearance.