Timber-paneled walkway alongside iconic river to open soon in Vietnam

By Vo Thanh   August 21, 2018 | 07:48 pm PT
Timber-paneled walkway alongside iconic river to open soon in Vietnam
A timber-paneled walkway along the Perfume River in Hue is slated for completion in September. Photo by VnExpress/Vo Thanh
A wood-paneled pedestrian promenade along the iconic Perfume River will be completed ahead of schedule in Hue.

Work on the walkway began in February this year and was originally slated to be finished in November, but authorities in the central city are speeding up work to complete it before the flooding season.

The walkway will be new focal point on the Perfume River, one of the city’s top tourist destinations. It will connect the existing Nguyen Dinh Chieu pedestrian street with the Ly Tu Trong Park.

Four meters (13 feet) wide and 380 meters along, the walkway on the southern banks of the river will be supported by concrete pillars planted in the riverbed.

Its surface will be paneled with lim (Erythrophleum fordii) wood, a rare and valuable timber in Vietnam.

Several cracks have been spotted on the lim wood panels, but Van Viet Thanh, director of the Thua Thien Hue Irrigation and Construction Company, the main contractor of the project, explained that it was normal for this to happen when lim wood is put outdoors in hot weather condition.

The project had sparked criticism earlier from Hue’s cultural experts as lim wood is rare, expensive and has been listed as endangered by the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

The walkway, costing an estimated VND53 billion ($2.2 million), is part of a project to improve city planning funded by the Korea International Cooperation Agency, which has granted $6 million for the purpose.

Local authorities, however, claimed that the city had tested public opinion and found people overwhelmingly (90.6 percent) in favor of using the rare wood.

Hue was the capital of the Nguyen Dynasty which ruled the country from 1802 until the end of feudal Vietnam in 1945.

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