Angkor Wat’s new floating bridge
The temporary floating bridge leading to Angkor Wat will be completed before May and will be able to support more than 6,000 people at once, according to officials.
The Apsara Authority, the government body that manages the Angkor temple complex, said construction on the floating bridge started on November 28 and it will be ready for use before May.
It is made from polyethylene air bags and located to the south of “Spean Harl” – the original bridge – which will undergo a second phase of repairs once the floating bridge is completed.
The repairs require totally closing traffic on the bridge which local and foreign visitors cross to visit Angkor Wat.
Heng Kim Leng, the director of the Apsara Authority’s technical support department, said the bridge can last for 20 years and will be built with six areas for visitors to take photographs and admire the ancient temple.
He said the air bags’ total area was 1,874 square meters and that one square meter could support 272 kilograms.
“We assume that one person weighs 80 kilograms, so this floating bridge can support a total of 6,371 people at the same time,” Mr. Kim Leng said.
The Apsara Authority cooperated with Sophia University in Japan to build the bridge, allowing visitors access to the historic site.
Vong Chanvibol, chief of construction of the floating bridge, said that both the material and technical experts were from Canada.
He added that the air bags were made from a tough plastic that could withstand the weather, including both the heat and rain. It would not discolor or pollute the water, he added.
The original bridge, west of the temple, is about 190 meters long. The first phase of repairs was completed in 2007 by the Apsara Authority and Sophia University, which spent 12 years repairing 90 meters.
In May, the Apsara Authority and its Japanese counterpart signed an agreement and held a ground-breaking ceremony for the second phase of repairs, which will fix 100 meters and is estimated to take four years.
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