Saigon bridge loses 44 manholes within week of opening

By Dinh Van, Gia Minh, Thu Hang   May 5, 2022 | 10:28 pm PT
Thieves have stolen 44 of the 110 manhole covers on the Thu Thiem 2 Bridge over the Saigon River between District 1 and Thu Thiem peninsula.

"There are signs that thieves ripped open the manhole covers with a crowbar to steal them," a spokesperson for Ho Chi Minh City-based Freyssinet Vietnam, which recently completed construction of the bridge, said Thursday.

The company said the cast iron manhole covers cost VND1.2 million (US$52.26) apiece.

Plastic bags and other trash could be seen flowing inside the sewers before workers started to install new covers on Thursday.

Workers weld a manhole to sewers on Thu Thiem 2 Bridge on May 5, 2022. Video by VnExpress/Dinh Van

They are being welded to foil thieves.

The Road Traffic Infrastructure Management Center said the police have been told to investigate the theft and make sure it does not happen again.

Open to traffic on Apr. 28, the bridge has helped reduce traffic in the nearby Thu Thiem tunnel, which runs beneath the Saigon River also between the downtown area and Thu Thiem New Urban Area in Thu Duc City.

A car moves on Thu Thiem 2 Bridge on April 28, 2022. Photo by VnExpress/Quynh Tran

A car moves on Thu Thiem 2 Bridge on April 28, 2022. Photo by VnExpress/Quynh Tran

In the week since the bridge opened to traffic, the number of vehicles using the tunnel dropped by 14 percent, Phan Cong Bang, deputy director of the city Department of Transport, told reporters on Thursday.

The city plans to build a total of four bridges between the downtown and Thu Thiem area.

Thu Thiem 3 and 4 bridges to Districts 4 and 7 will be built before 2030.

Thu Thiem 1 Bridge was completed in 2008 and the Thu Thiem Tunnel in 2011.

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