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Residents sidelined as sidewalks get repaved in downtown Hanoi

By Ngoc Thanh, Viet An   November 15, 2022 | 08:55 pm PT
Hanoi is repaving many downtown sidewalks, but the ensuing mess creates more than a spot of bother for residents who feel the upgrade should have been better managed.
Residents sidelined as sidewalks get repaved in downtown Hanoi

A worker repaves the sidewalk along Giang Vo Street in Ba Dinh District with natural stones.

Residents sidelined as sidewalks get repaved in downtown Hanoi

Around one kilometer away, the sidewalk on Nguyen Chi Thanh Street is also getting a new look.

Hanoi currently has 255 streets whose sidewalks are covered with natural stones. Most of these are in the downtown districts of Ba Dinh, Hoan Kiem, Dong Da and Hai Ba Trung.

Other sidewalks in the city are paved with bricks.

Residents sidelined as sidewalks get repaved in downtown Hanoi

People take careful steps through a sidewalk section in Dong Da District that has become an obstacle course as it gets renovated.

Residents sidelined as sidewalks get repaved in downtown Hanoi

Business as usual at a bus stop on Nguyen Chi Thanh Street despite stone tiles being piled up and debris created as the sidewalk is renovated.

"Workers do not complete their job in one area at a time. They move around and work on each sidewalk little by little day by day and as a result, almost all sidewalks are a mess these days," said Hoang Van Dong who lives on Nguyen Chi Thanh Street.

He said his neighbors in the area have the same complaint and many people in the area say the sidewalk upgrade has affected their business because it's not being done in a well-planned manner.

Residents sidelined as sidewalks get repaved in downtown Hanoi

Concrete blocks piled up in front of the National Academy of Public Administration.

A representative of Dong Da's urban management department said Nguyen Chi Thanh Street was a "key" street and therefore the district must ensure that the street's sidewalks, trees, lighting and drainage systems are in good condition.

The renovation of the sidewalks on this street will be completed next year, the rep said.

Residents sidelined as sidewalks get repaved in downtown Hanoi

Workers dig up and repave an area of the sidewalk on Cau Dien Street in Bac Tu Liem District. The stones being laid are easy to clean and have a higher load bearing capacity, but it is said that they cannot absorb water as well as bricks.

Residents sidelined as sidewalks get repaved in downtown Hanoi

A sidewalk section on Cau Dien Street that has been repaved with stone tiles.

Hanoi has assigned the sidewalk renovation project to district authorities.

Each district makes its own decisions, uses its budget and appoints contractors.

The project is carried out this time of the year as it does not rain these days and the temperature is cool for outdoor construction work.

Residents sidelined as sidewalks get repaved in downtown Hanoi

While the sidewalk renovation is expected to beautify the city it has also aroused public controversy as this is not the first time Hanoi's sidewalk is being upgraded with natural stones.

In the photo above, the sidewalk at the corner of Nguyen Xien and Nguyen Trai streets in Thanh Xuan District was renovated and paved with stones tiles five years ago but it has suffered serious damage.

The same situation has been seen at a series of sidewalks on Tran Phu Street in Ha Dong District, Le Van Luong Street in Cau Giay District, Nguyen Thai Hoc Street in Ba Dinh District and Giai Phong in Hoang Mai District.

Residents sidelined as sidewalks get repaved in downtown Hanoi

A damaged sidewalk section on Nguyen Trai Street in Thanh Xuan District.

Among the reasons that the stone-paved sidewalks are getting damaged are poor construction quality and encroachment by many vehicles, including those that carry heavy loads.

 
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