BANGKOK – Visiting Their Royal Highnesses Prince Phillippe and Princess Mathilde of Belgium yesterday afternoon proceeded to Lumpini Park in central Bangkok, where they opened an exhibition on the 25th anniversary of the Thai-Belgian Bridge and presided over the ceremony of unveiling a new emblem of the bridge. On hand to welcome the royal couple were the Permanent Secretary of the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration, Mrs. Ninnart Chalitanont, and the Chairman of the BMA Council, Mr. Pipat Lappratthana.
The Thai-Belgian Bridge was originally part of the King Leopold II Bridge built to cope with extra traffic for the World Expo that was held in Brussels in 1958. As the bridge was originally conceived as an “emergency bridge” that could be taken down and reassembled, it was disassembled in 1984 and in 1986 was shipped to Bangkok to help solve traffic problems in the city.
The Thai-Belgian Friendship Bridge is 290 metres long and comprises four traffic lanes. It was closed for repairs twice in 1993 and 1997. At present, it is undergoing another renovation project from March 5 to May 15, following years of constant heavy traffic. The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration is responsible for the renovation which also includes repainting and installation of LED decorative lights along bridge railings.
Their Royal Highnesses Prince Phillippe and Princess Mathilde of Belgium is now on a 6-day visit to Thailand as guests of Their Majesties the King and Queen.