Southeast Asia’s longest sea crossing slowly sinking in Vietnam

By Ngoc Tuyen   July 12, 2017 | 11:09 pm PT
Southeast Asia’s longest sea crossing slowly sinking in Vietnam
The bridge connecting two major ports in Hai Phong is scheduled for opening in late August. Photo by VnExpress/Ba Do
A team of inspectors has found cracks on the bridge ahead of its opening, and the 15km structure appears to be sinking.

A $523 million bridge is scheduled to open in the northern port city of Hai Phong next month, but technical checks have found cracks and subsidence.

Inspectors, led by the construction minister, said cracks could be seen on the beams of Tan Vu-Lach Huyen Bridge, while the surface had sunk below required flatness levels.

One of the beams stands five centimeters higher than the others.

The Ministry of Transport has ordered construction units to clarify who is responsible and fix the problems.

The project was approved in 2010 and construction was started by the ministry's Cienco4 unit in 2014 with Japanese funding.

The bridge, the longest sea crossing in Southeast Asia, spans 5.4 kilometers (3.4 miles) and has six lanes for vehicles.

It is named after the port towns of Tan Vu and Lach Huyen at either end, and is expected to shorten travel times to around ten minutes, compared to several hours by boat. It will be also connected to an important expressway between Hai Phong and Hanoi, allowing vehicles to travel all the way from the capital to Cat Hai Island.

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