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Piasau Bridge

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The Old Piasau bridge alongside the new one.

The old Piasau bridge was a private Bailey bridge built in the 1950s at Piasau Camp linking from the peninsula to Piasau at the point closest to the sea. The bridge, originally made of steel and wood with a single lane to handle the occasional vehicle traffic crossing, had seen several upgrades over the years.

A traffic light system was implemented soon after Shell started full operation in Sarawak, but one-sided heavy traffic made the system ineffective as the peak traffic on one side waited to cross while there was no one on the other side. Thus it was reverted to hand hand-operated stop signs to control peak traffic by the Shell Auxiliary Police before the automation process was advanced enough. It was the first bridge in Sarawak known to have a traffic light in history.

This bridge was used and maintained until the 1980s when it occurred to members of the public that as traffic vehicles increase in numbers, as well as weights of these vehicles, the bridge might not hold up in the event of tightly packed situations. This especially since after collapse incident in the early 1980s.

In this collapse, in 1981 or 1982 or so before any upgrade to the bridge was done, a section of the pedestrian and rail collapsed during a regatta event when the bridge was overcrowded with spectators wanting to get a good view, sending people falling into the river below. Details of this remain scarce as this is mostly from memories, while newspaper archives of the day are hard to get.

The first upgrade, done in the mid 1980s, is a reinforcement with steel & cables supports, with steel beams over the top and cables running across it reinforcing the lanes while holding the bridge up. This article is from the web site miriresortcity dot com - this sentence is here to prevent blatant plagarism. Although the reinforcement was elaborately done, the bridge was still one-lane with a wooden path that required traffic lights at both ends. When it rains, traction on wooden paths were almost non existent, and this fact is reinforced with large signs warning "Slippery when wet" on both ends. From memory, there were more than a few accidents involving cars and motorcycles as a result of wet weather.

The new two-lane bridge being built in 2011

In 2011 a modern two-lane bridge adjacent to it is constructed, while the original wooden bridge is still in use but now meant for pedestrian and bicycle traffic. The new bridge is christened Miri River Bridge.

Previously, if the ferry at the tip of the peninsular has broken down or simply wasn't operating for any reason at all, ambulances from the old general hospital at the tip of the peninsular will have to go the long way around the peninsular using this bridge.

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