Sri Lanka gets Japanese help for bridge maintenance

ECONOMYNEXT – Japan has started a program to help Sri Lanka’s Road Development Authority (RDA) do proper maintenance of bridges  on the island’s rapidly expanding road network, including gifting a vehicle.

“Maintenance of bridges is especially important not only in terms of protecting infrastructure assets constructed with public funds, but also in terms of public safety,” said Fusato Tanaka, Chief Representative of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) Sri Lanka Office.

“The potential risk of grave damage is greater in bridge infrastructure. But inspection and maintenance of bridges are more complex and difficult than on road sections, and may get postponed or disregarded.”
A statement said a brand new bridge maintenance vehicle from Japan was gifted by JICA to the Road Development Authority of Sri Lanka Friday.

The special vehicle has a working platform which could be extended from the truck to reach under the bridge deck, so that the critical but hard to reach locations could be inspected and rectified in time, it said.

The vehicle worth over 47 million Japanese yen (about Rs86 million) will be the first of its kind in Sri Lanka.

The vehicle is provided as part of the technical cooperation project on bridge management implemented by JICA to assist the RDA to formulate and establish systematic processes to regularly inspect and maintain bridges on the national road network.

The 3 year technical cooperation project aims to assist RDA to formulate a bridge maintenance policy, set up maintenance organization in RDA, prepare working manual for maintenance work, and establish an IT based bridge management system.

It will also give on-the-job training in Japan for RDA engineers to get hands-on experience and technology transfer.
(COLOMBO, April 7, 2017)

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