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Hanoi's iconic bridge to undergo major evaluation, reparation

By Doan Loan   June 2, 2022 | 04:30 am PT
Hanoi's iconic bridge to undergo major evaluation, reparation
A view of Hanoi's Long Bien Bridge. Photo by VnExpress/Ngoc Thanh
Hanoi's iconic Long Bien Bridge would undergo a complete evaluation in the next two-three months prior to its reparation, according to the Vietnam Railway Authority.

Tran Thien Canh, deputy head of the authority, on Thursday said a plan to evaluate Long Bien Bridge has been prepared. The 120-year-old bridge has suffered several instances of damage, with two holes appearing along its surface last month, he added.

The bridge is supposed to be evaluated once every five to 10 years. The last time an evaluation took place was in 2012.

Following the evaluation, authorities would prepare a project to repair the bridge, which is expected to commence in 2023.

"This time, we aim to make it so that the bridge could function safely until 2030, when it would be replaced by the No. 1 urban railway line Yen Vien-Ngoc Hoi," said Canh.

Regarding the recent damage to the bridge's surface, the authority said the road surface is already outdated, which harbors traffic safety risks.

A hole 60 cm wide and 100 cm long on Long Bien Bridge, Hanoi, May 28, 2022. Photo by Ha Hai Company

A hole 60 cm wide and 100 cm long on Long Bien Bridge, Hanoi, May 28, 2022. Photo by Ha Hai Company

While cars and certain other vehicles are banned from using the bridge from 5 a.m. to 8 p.m., many still use it, especially during rush hours.

Nguyen Quoc Vuong, director of the Ha Hai Railways company, which manages Long Bien Bridge, said the company would erect plates to cover up gaps along the bridge and erect signs that warn people against large gatherings, among other measures.

Long Bien Bridge, crossing the Red River, began construction in 1898 and opened in 1902. It was originally intended to serve the rail industry. It was damaged in certain sections during the Vietnam War. From 1995 to 2010, reparation of the bridge cost VND116 billion ($4.99 million) in total.

In 2015, it was repaired with VND300 billion to make it safe enough until 2020, when the No. 1 urban railway line would be constructed and replace it. But to date, the railway project has not even begun.

The maintenance cost for the bridge in 2021 was VND8.5 billion, and over VND9.7 billion in 2022.

 
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