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Construction of the White Bridge at Ban Tha Chomphu, 1919
National Archives of Thailand
Bridge; Bridges; Bridges construction; Ban Tha Chomphu
Bridges; Bridges -- Design and construction; Ban Tha Chomphu

Ban Tha Chomphu White Bridge: The Railway Bridge Crossing the River
            The White Bridge (saphan khao) is situated at Ban Tha Chomphu, Mu 4, Tambon Tha Pladuk, Mae Tha District, Lamphun Province. It was between Khun Tan railway station and The Chomphu railway station. It has become a historic bridge now. The bridge construction began in 1919 and was completed in 1920. It has been used as part of the railway from Lampang to Chiang Mai. The Ban Tha Chomphu White Bridge was extended from the Khun Than Railway Tunnel on the Bangkok-Chiang Mai railway route where it crosses Mae Tha River. It is a white arch-shaped bridge of the western style. During the construction, the local people were so excited with the new innovative structure that many kept visiting the site while some brought along food and practical items to sell to the construction workers and the engineers.
            A fascinating story arose related to the bridge during WWII that the allied forces thought of bombing it to destroy the Japanese railway route. The scheme prodded the villagers to paint the bridge black to camouflage it from the allied forces. They managed to save the bridge from the bombs.
            In 1919, General Prince Burachatchaiyakorn, Kromphra Kamphaengpetch Akrayothin, who was newly appointed director of the State Railway, brought his crews to construct the Lampang-Chiang Mai railway and had a steel-reinforced concrete bridge constructed using western construction engineering technology. They had to make sure that the bridge could hold the weight of over 15 tons for the trains to go on as well. Clearly the bridge has lasted until today.
            Some obstacles in the construction of the bridge occurred in the flood time when timber logs were floated along the Tha River and a great deal were left piling around the bridge construction site. Therefore, they had to use elephants to move the timber logs, which caused a delay in the construction.
            Nowadays, Ban Tha Chomphu White Bridge has become a tourist attraction. The white bridge stands out distinctively against the vast green surrounding of Mae Tha District, Lamphun, giving an impressive view to all passersby.

Reference
Cremation Souvenir Book of Khun Pho Prasong Panyaphu:
            Samutphap “Phapkao laorueang mueang Lamphun”.
            (2009) [n.d., n. pl.].
Chiang Mai University Library
Chiang Mai
ntic@lib.cmu.ac.th
Chiang Mai University, Funder
Naren Panyaphu, Advisor and expert
image/jpeg(.jpeg .jpe .jpg)
1 photo; black & white; 5x7 inch.
NAT-LP-BR002
Chiang Mai University Library
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