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RAMA OPENS: Bangkok's controversial new cable stayed Rama VIII bridge opened for traffic this week (story, NCEI November 2000).

Spanning the Chao Phraya River, the $65M structure comprises a 475m long steel plate girder and reinforced concrete deck, supported by a 161m high reinforced concrete pylon. The deck is protected by a glass fibre reinforced modular enclosure system, developed by FaberMaunsell, but designed and installed locally. FaberMaunsell had raised concerns that the local firm used would lack the expertise to use the system safely. But a spokesman for Mott MacDonald, part of Bangkok Metropolitan Administration's engineering team said that the team was satisfied with the enclosure design.

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