Subsidence occurs on bridge in Vietnam’s $556m expressway

By Minh Cuong   November 4, 2018 | 09:00 pm PT
Subsidence occurs on bridge in Vietnam’s $556m expressway
The surface of Bach Dang Bridge, part of Ha Long-Hai Phong Expressway, is seen uneven. Photo by VnExpress/Minh Cuong
A section of a bridge along an expressway linking the world-renowned Ha Long Bay appears to be subsiding, making drivers apprehensive.

Two months after the Ha Long-Hai Phong Expressway opened to traffic, drivers say they have to slow down when crossing the Bach Dang Bridge for fear of losing stability and causing accidents.

They complain the surface of the bridge is uneven and some parts have sunk, and they are obvious even to the naked eye.

Built at a cost of VND13 trillion ($556 million), the 24.6-kilometer (15.5-mile) Ha Long-Hai Phong Expressway connects National Highway 18 in Ha Long with the Hanoi-Hai Phong Expressway.

It includes the VND7.27-trillion bridge over the Bach Dang River connecting Quang Ninh Province and Hai Phong City in northern Vietnam.

The 3.5-km bridge above the river has a width of 25 meters (82 feet) and four lanes.

Quang Ninh-based Bach Dang Bridge BOT Joint Stock Company, the builder, said it has collected data on the sinking and uneven sections.

Nguyen Tien Oanh, the company’s deputy director, said the difference in heights between beams is causing them.

“This happened before the surfacing of the bridge, not after the bridge is put into service. We have been aware of the issue and waiting for a suitable time to fix it.”

But he assured that vehicles could use the bridge safely.

The Ha Long-Hai Phong Expressway opened last September to reduce the Hanoi-Ha Long commute by 50 km to 130 km, and the Ha Long-Hai Phong drive from 75 km to just 25 km.

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