Accident prone mountain pass uses rubber tires for padded protection

By Tran Hoa   April 24, 2021 | 08:00 am GMT+7
Accident prone mountain pass uses rubber tires for padded protection
Columns of old tires are used to reinforce the guard rails at the Lo Xo mountain pass, part of the Ho Chi Minh Highway. Photo by VnExpress/Tran Hoa.
An accident prone mountain pass connecting the central provinces of Quang Nam and Kon Tum now has rubber tire columns reinforcing its guard rails.

The Lo Xo pass, which runs for 27 km as it connects Quang Nam’s Phuoc Son District and Kon Tum’s Dak Glei District, is part of the Ho Chi Minh Highway.

The pass has become notorious for several deadly traffic accidents that have killed dozens of people. Locals had even built shrines as memorials to the deceased on the road side, but these were swept away by rains and floods last year.

Since 2018, the Directorate for Roads of Vietnam has built several new structures on the pass for safety reasons, including a wall of rubber tires 4,000 m long next to the guard rails. The project was completed this year.

Each column of tires is filled with sand and has steel beams inserted 1.4 m into the ground to keep them in place. The tires used are typically 60-110 cm wide in diameter. The installation cost for each meter of tire columns was around VND3 million ($130.14).

Le Van Tan, 46, said he drives through the pass around four times a week.

"Ever since the pass has had the tire columns installed, I feel much safer driving through here," he said.

Aerial view of the Lo Xo mountain pass. Photo by VnExpress/Tran Hoa.

Aerial view of the Lo Xo mountain pass. Photo by VnExpress/Tran Hoa.

 
 
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