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Bridge ban enforced

Authorities stop a bus on the eastern side of Cambodian-Japanese Friendship Bridge
Authorities stop a bus on the eastern side of Cambodian-Japanese Friendship Bridge yesterday evening after a ban was placed on vehicles weighing more than 3 tonnes from using the ailing bridge. Eli Meixler

Bridge ban enforced

City Hall on Friday officially issued its ban on trucks weighing more than 3 tonnes from using the Cambodian-Japanese Friendship Bridge until cracks discovered last month in a pillar on the bridge’s eastern end are repaired, a city spokesman said yesterday.

Long Dimanche said police had been stationed at the nearly 50-year-old span to turn back vehicles exceeding the weight limit, and that such vehicles would have to use Prek Phnov Bridge – nearly 10 kilometres to the north.

“We sent the police to guard it and to order [trucks] to cross by Prek Phnov Bridge. We are not allowing trucks over three tonnes to cross for safety [reasons], and in order to protect our bridge after it was found that it . . . must be repaired by Japanese engineers,” he said.

A policeman at the bridge yesterday morning said officers had been guarding the on-ramps since Friday. “We guard it, because we fear some big truck drivers would not obey,” he said.

Truck driver Sam Chan Ta, on his way to Siem Reap, said the detour would affect his schedule, but was still better than the alternative.

“Now they’ve banned us. I have to drive to Prek Phnov Bridge, which is so far way, and takes time [to get to]. But I have to obey because we’re afraid of an accident . . . on the bridge,” he said.

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