Viet Nam News
YÊN BÁI — Fragile suspension bridges in the mountainous districts of Yên Bái Province are threatening the lives of residents who cross them every day.
The Khe Rộng suspension bridge, which spans the Rào canal in Trấn Yên District, is one of dozens of bridges that need to be either repaired or replaced in the northern province. Stastictics compiled by the province’s transport department show that of 130 suspension bridges, 11 are damaged beyond repair.
Twenty-seven others require major repair to their decks, and their horizontal beams and vertical piers have been severely damaged, making them dangerous to cross.
The poor conditions of the bridge worries Bùi Văn Kiều, a local resident. The bridge vibrates every time motorbikes cross it, ready to collapse, Kiều said. Its joints have come loose and become rusted.
Some parts of the bridge are only held together by old ropes. Its deck is covered with rotten wood pieces with several holes in them, which are “darned” by local residents with bamboo and dried branches.
Kiều said that the bridge has a high volume of traffic as it connects Quy Mông and Kiên Thành communes.
Nguyễn Ngọc Nguyên, head of Village 11 in Quy Mông Commune said local authorities had advised residents to only cross the bridge in small groups in order to avoid overloading it.
He was still terrified about the collapse of the Chu Va 6 bridge in Lai Châu Province in 2014, which killed eight people and injured more than 30.
Nguyễn Duy Khanh, chairman of the commune’s People’s Committee, said the committee has encouraged residents to fix as much of the bridge as possible themselves with available materials. He also advised people to refrain from crossing the bridge to avoid accidents.
The mountainous terrain of the province and its lack of infrastructure resources hinder traffic, especially during the rainy season. In Village 3 of An Lạc Commune, residents, mostly students, use a temporary bridge to cross a 50-meter-wide river every day.
The transport department had proposed improvement plans for 32 bridges, but only 13 have been repaired or replaced over the past two years.
Nguyễn Trọng Tiến, head of the infrastructure division of the province’s transport department, said the Directorate for Roads of Việt Nam agreed that there are 49 locations near streams and rivers in the province that need bridges, which would hopefully be designed at the beginning of next year.
The province reported 30 additional locations requiring bridges, but the directorate did not approve them, he said. — VNS