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Authorities reject upgrade plan for Long Bien bridge

Update: February, 20/2014 - 09:20
The 2,290-m Long Bien Bridge was built between 1899 and 1902 by the French, and opened to traffic in 1903.— Photo thethaovanhoa

HA NOI (VNS)— The Ministry of Transport and authorities in Ha Noi have agreed not to adopt a plan to rebuild the historic Long Bien Bridge, which has caused controversy among the public in recent days.

The bridge would only be upgraded to increase its traffic capacity, said Deputy Director of the municipal Transport Department Nguyen Xuan Tan at a press briefing on Tuesday.

The ministry had earlier proposed three plans. The first was to build a new bridge exactly where the old one stands, keeping the central part with the railway track intact, and removing other parts of the bridge for preservation.

The second option was to build a new, modern bridge with a similar design to the old one, while the third was to modernise the bridge while retaining parts of the central section and trusses.

The 2,290-m Long Bien Bridge was built between 1899 and 1902 by the French, and opened to traffic in 1903.

As the only bridge across the Red River that connected Ha Noi to the highway leading to the northern port city of Hai Phong, the bridge played a crucial role in many important events in the country's history, including the independence wars.

Relating to a plan to collect toll fees from vehicles on the Thang Long Boulevard, Tan said the Ha Noi People's Committee submitted a proposal to the Prime Minister for approval last month, but was yet to receive a response.

It was therefore unable to confirm if Ha Noi would collect fees as reported by some local newspapers, he said. — VNS

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