K’Giảo Bridge in Lộc Thành Commmune, Bảo Lâm District, Central Highland Lâm Đồng Province. — VNA/VNS Photo Nguyễn Dũng
LÂM ĐỒNG — “The Brụi K’Mé Bridge is fragile and deteriorated, but we have no choice but to cross it to get to work everyday,” said K’Bồn, a resident of Di Linh District in the Central Highlands province of Lâm Đồng.
“Many people and their vehicles fell from the bridge and were seriously injured,” he told the Tin tức (News) newspaper.
The 60m-long bridge was made of wood by local residents 30 years ago and requires constant upgrades, he said
The Brụi K’Mé Bridge is one among tens of suspension bridges in the province that have deteriorated and need urgent repair or replacement.
Đinh Trang Hoà commune alone has six wooden suspension bridges built a long time ago. They are falling apart but are an indispensable part of residents’ daily lives.
Another resident in the commune, K’Bích, said: “We knew it was dangerous to cross the bridge but we have no other choice. It would be tougher and take much more time to go if we use another road instead of the bridge.”
According to the provincial department of transport, the province has nearly 100 unsafe bridges.
Many suspension bridges were built of wood. Their vertical piers are dilapidated while many parts of their decks are decayed, covered with rotten wood pieces, making them dangerous to cross.
The chairman of the commune’s People’s Committee, Nguyễn Duy Hùng, said local authorities asked provincial authorities to allocate capital to upgrade or build new bridges so residents could live and work.
The provincial transport department proposed to the Ministry of Transport to invest in building 15 new suspension bridges and 100 other bridges in the province, which is home to a dense network of rivers and springs, to ensure traffic safety, particularly during flood season.
In 2014, the transport ministry launched a project to build small-scale bridges in remote areas. The project requires VNĐ12.6 trillion ($563 million) to build 7,800 small bridges across the country.
During the first phase of the project, 186 suspension bridges were built to meet the urgent needs of local residents in 28 mountainous provinces in the north, the centre and Central Highland regions.
The second phase of the programme, which aims to build nearly 4,000 bridges in remote areas, kicked off in August this year. A total of 3,959 bridges, including many suspension bridges, will be built in more than 5,200 communes in 450 districts of 50 provinces and cities. Priority will be given to 63 impoverished districts. — VNS