| But Son bridge. — VNA/VNS Photo Huy Hung
HA NOI (VNS) — Seventy degraded bridges along national highways in 25 provinces must be replaced by 2015, three years earlier than planned.
Transport Minister Dinh La Thang said the project had total investment of VND8.254 trillion (US$388 million), including VND6.555 trillion ($308 ) from Japan International Co-operation Agency.
Until now, bids had been accepted for only four of the 25 construction packages.
Replacement works for Tham Bridge and But Son Bridge on National Highway 10 in central Thanh Hoa Province have started.
According to the ministry's Project Management Unit 6 assigned to carry out the project, bidding for the other 21 construction packages will open in November.
Thang asked the management unit to complete replacing all 70 bridges by next year.
"If the unit cannot deal with the task, the work should be shared with other units," Thang said.
He said the project would improve road safety, meet travelling demands and contribute to socio-economic development.
Deputy director of the management unit, Nguyen Tan Khoa, said that a big problem was the slow dispersal of funds.
On top of this, many bridge designs and investment documents were not completed, thus tenders could not be called," Khoa said.
Deputy Transport Minister Nguyen Hong Truong said that most of bridges in were only 200 to 300 metres long and would not take too much time to build.
"If the paperwork is solved, it's possible to complete the project next year," he said.
The project includes funding for land clearance and foundation enforcement for bridges, including Thot Not on National Highway 91 in southern Can Tho City, Muong Khai on National Highway 54 in southern Dong Thap Province and An Quy on National Highway 57 in southern Ben Tre Province. — VNS