Temporary bridge collapses after miscommunication

By An Binh, Gia Minh   July 17, 2023 | 05:58 pm PT
Temporary bridge collapses after miscommunication
A three-ton-capacity temporary bridge collapses in Tra Vinh Province in southern Vietnam after trucks weighing 20 tons drove onto it for a test drive, July 16, 2023. Photo by VnExpress/Hoang Lam
A temporary three-ton-capacity bridge in the Mekong Delta collapsed after two trucks, weighing a total of around 20 tons, drove over it.

Pham The Hien, general director of the Tuan Hien company, which is constructing the Long Binh 1 Bridge in Tra Vinh Province, said on Monday that a temporary bridge, spanning 50 m and made of iron, was built over the Long Binh River as a means for people to pass the water while the new bridge is being built.

Two trucks were deployed onto the bridge to test its load instead caused it to collapse.

"I was on a trip in HCMC. At home, a technical officer said trucks weighing 2-3 tons need to be found to test the temporary bridge’s load (with a capacity at 2-3 tons). However, drivers misheard it to be 20-30 tons, so they used two trucks, each weighing a dozen tons, to go on the bridge at the same time," Hien said, adding that if trucks weighing 2-3 tons had driven on the bridge instead, the problem would not have happened.

No one was injured in the incident.

Hien said the incident caused hundreds of millions of Vietnamese dong worth of damages (VND100 million = US$4,230). The company will rebuild the bridge's damaged parts in 2-3 days, then it will be evaluated again before vehicles can use it, he said.

Lam Phuoc Chung, director of the Tra Vinh management board of investment and construction projects, the main investor of the Long Binh 1 Bridge project, said trucks weighing 5 and 10 tons had passed over the temporary bridge without issue.

The Long Binh 1 Bridge project has a total investment cost of VND63 billion ($2.66 million). It was approved in 2022 and is expected to be completed in May 2024.

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