Viet Nam News
PHÚ THỌ — The Việt Nam Road Administration has asked for the Transport Ministry’s permission to use the central road maintenance fund to repair Việt Trì Bridge.
Cars with less than seven seats, motorcycles and non-motorised vehicles will be soon allowed to travel on the bridge in the northern Phú Thọ Province after the repair work is completed, according to the administration.
The rest of the vehicles will use Hạc Trì Bridge.
The cost of the repair work, to be finished before August 20, is estimated to be VNĐ1 billion (US$44,840).
Nguyễn Xuân Cường, the deputy head of the administration, said even after the bridge was opened, they would continue to monitor and propose repair plans to be implemented in a timely manner to ensure smooth and safe transportation.
Earlier, the investor of Hạc Trì Bridge sent a report to the Prime Minister and leaders of the Planning and Investment, Finance and Transport ministries, suggesting that the use of the new Hạc Trì Bridge be suspended for a few days to find measures to protect the investor’s interest if people avoided travelling on the bridge.
The investor report came in the wake of an incident in which local residents broke the concrete platform being used to block the old Việt Trì Bridge. They did this so that they could use the old bridge instead of Hạc Trì Bridge, in which case they would have to pay high toll, the BOT Joint-Stock Company, the investor said.
The old Việt Trì Bridge had been determined to be in very bad condition, the company said.
A signboard banning vehicles from using the old bridge had been installed, but the local authorities did not have any method to enforce the rule, it said.
According to the company, the toll revenue had fallen sharply after people started avoiding the new bridge from August 1.
Under the approved plan, the toll amounted to VNĐ11.5 billion (US$515,600)per month, but the company collected only VNĐ7 billion to VNĐ8 billion ($314,000 to $358,700) per month, the company said.
Transport Minister Nguyễn Hồng Trường said the ministry was studying and reassessing the usability of Việt Trì Bridge and would prepare specific plans regarding the use of both bridges, as well as policies to safeguard the financial plans of the investor. – VNS