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Delayed land clearance holds up work on longest sea bridge

Update: July, 28/2014 - 09:12
The 15km bridge, with a stretch that will span a 5.5km stretch of water, is a key national project designed to connect eastern areas of the city to Lach Huyen Port, Dinh Vu Industrial Park and the Ha Noi-Hai Phong Expressway.— File Photo

HAI PHONG (VNS) — Work on Viet Nam's longest sea bridge, the Tan Vu–Lach Huyen Sea Bridge in Hai Phong, was at danger of being delayed due to slow land clearance, according to the project's investors.

The 15km bridge, with a stretch that will span a 5.5km stretch of water, is a key national project designed to connect eastern areas of the city to Lach Huyen Port, Dinh Vu Industrial Park and the Ha Noi-Hai Phong Expressway.

The work started in February this year, a year later than scheduled. It is expected to be completed at the same time as the construction of the Lach Huyen Port in 2017 to help save time and travel expenses, reduce waterway risks and boost industry.

The construction of the bridge is being funded with Official Development Assistance (ODA) from Japan worth over VND10 trillion (US$476 million) and capital from the Vietnamese Government worth VND1.8 trillion ($84.6 million).

Pham Hong Son, general director of the Transport Ministry's Project Management Unit 2, said the project needed significant areas of land to be cleared in the districts of Hai An and Cat Hai.

Hundreds of households situated on the construction site needed to be relocated and compensated, Son said.

As planned, most land clearance was completed last April, but around 10 households in Cat Hai District had remained because resettlement plans for them had not been completed, Son said.

He added that 32 graves, one temple and a border guard station were also still on the site.

"Equipment has been sent to start work at locations where clearance work has been completed," Son said.

In Hai An District where the sea bridge would meet the Dinh Vu Industrial Zone, there were a shortage of roads for equipment to reach the construction site, Son said.

Investors have been negotiating with the industrial zone's management board about using existing roads in the zone, but the board has demanded a toll and an upfront payment of US$200,000.

If the roads are damaged, investor and constructors will have to pay for repairs.

"An agreement has yet to be reached because it is unreasonable to ask the project's investors and constructors to take full responsibility for damage to the roads because vehicles from the industrial zone also use them every day," Son said.

During a visit to the construction site this month, Transport Minister Dinh La Thang urged local authorities and relevant parties to solve any problems and speed up the project.

Construction of the Lach Huyen International Port that started in in July,2013 is reportedly running at a good pace, and is six months ahead of schedule.

The port project has investment of over VND 25.1 trillion ($1.2 billion ) from Japanese ODA assistance and the State budget. It includes port facilities, sea defences and docks capable of receiving 100,000DWT container ships. — VNS

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