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Many HCM City bridges in critical condition

Update: September, 28/2012 - 09:36

 

Ton Tho Tuong Bridge on Phan Van Han street (Binh Thanh district) is one of the 36 very old bridges.—File Photo
HCM CITY (VNS)— The municipal Transport Department has identified 36 bridges in HCM City that need to be urgently repaired, upgraded or rebuilt in order to ensure commuter security.

"Many of the bridges are very old and in danger of collapsing, it has warned," it warned.

Son Bridge on the busy Xo Viet Nghe Tinh Street in Binh Thanh District, Kieu Bridge on Phan Dinh Phung Street in Phu Nhuan District, and Giong Ong To Bridge on Nguyen Thi Dinh Street in District 2 are all in "critical" condition, according to the department.

At the end of last year, Kieu Bridge was assessed to be at a high risk of collapse as it had developed many cracks that were blamed on the major Environment Hygiene Project to upgrade Nhieu Loc Thi Nghe Canal. The project involves dredging the canal and strengthening its banks.

Ba Hom Bridge on Provincial Road 10 in Binh Tan District is yet another construction deemed to be in critical condition with many long and large cracks.

Four other bridges on Le Van Luong Street in Nha Be District that connect with Phu My Hung Urban Area - Rach Dia, Long Kieng, Rach Tom and Rach Doi, are also in need of upgradging or rebuilding since most of them, built before 1975, are too narrow and have low load bearing capacities of just 1-2 tonnes.

Many other old bridges that cross water bodies, including Rach Dia, Long Kieng, Rach Tom and Rach Doi in Nha Be District and Giong Ong To Bridge in District 12, are low in height, making it unsafe for large vessels passing under.

$285m needed

The Transport Department has asked the municipal administration to approve the repair, upgrade or rebuilding of the old bridges in the city at a cost of around VND6 trillion (US$284.8 million).

To date, the city has approved the rebuilding of Bong, Kieu and Le Van Sy bridges, invested in by the Traffic Infrastructure Construction Company. Each bridge is expected to cost around VND200 billion ($9.5 million).

The city administration is also seeking funds from multiple sources for upgrading two bridges called Provincial Road 9 and N31A Canal-Provincial Road 8.

It has suspended projects to upgrade the Cay Da, Rach Ke, Rach Kinh and Chuoi Nuoc bridges in Cu Chi District because the traffic volume on these bridges is still low.

The Transport Department has been asked to work with relevant agencies to regularly check maintenance work on bridges in the city to ensure the safety of people and vehicles.

The department has asked its inspectors to work closely with the traffic police in checking and strictly punishing anyone who violates traffic safety regulations, especially overloaded or oversized vehicles travelling on roads and bridges.

It has also asked that information about traffic safety and punishment for transport companies, drivers and residents be widely published on the mass media.

HCM City has 1,031 bridges with a total length of around 55.4km, of which 374 (37.3km in length) are managed by the Transport Department. The rest are managed by district administrations. — VNS

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