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Trailer Carrying Excavator Causes Champassak Bridge Collapse

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The Sahalao Service Company, owners of a low loader trailer that was carrying an excavator, has agreed to fund repairs to the old metal Huaychampy Bridge which collapsed in Champassak province on Sunday.

The bridge collapsed into the Champy stream when the trailer attempted to cross the bridge whilst carrying a load in excess of the weight limit.

Governor of Pakxong district Mr Vicith Keobuapha told Vientiane Times on Monday after viewing the damage that the bridge had a weight limit of about 20 tonnes but the trailer together with the excavator weighed nearly 40 tonnes.

Fortunately, no one was killed or injured when the bridge collapsed.

If it is found that the bridge cannot be repaired, the company will have to rebuild it, Mr Vicith said.

After the bridge collapsed, the trailer remained upright but an excavator that it had been carrying fell into the water.

The bridge, which crosses the stream at Km 36 and links Pakxe district with Pakxong district, is now impassable to traffic so drivers must take a detour via Saravan province to get to Pakxong.

The company has accepted responsibility for the accident and is building a temporary dirt road next to the bridge so that pick-up trucks can cross the stream. Coffee growers in particular use this crossing as it is now harvest time and their pick-ups are delivering the beans to processing factories.

Mr Vicith said the cost of the repairs could not yet be estimated because the damage had not been fully assessed.

According to the Ministry of Public Works and Transport, heavy vehicles are the main cause of damage to roads and bridges, which are deteriorating on a daily basis. Increasingly, trucks carrying timber, cement, rocks, excavators and other heavy loads are plying the country’s somewhat fragile roads.

In 2014, the Huayphabang Bridge in Champassak province collapsed when a truck carrying a heavy load of timber tried to cross it. The truck belonged to the Khamseng Commerce Company, which repaired the bridge at a cost of about one billion kip (US$125,000).

 

Source: Vientiane Times