HCM CITY (VNS) — Over 100 bridges in HCM City are on the brink of collapse, according to figures from the City's Department of Transport.
The bridges are being put under undue pressure by overloaded trucks that weigh 2-3 times more than their capacity of 20 tonnes. The situation is exacerbated at peak hours when overloaded trucked stop on the bridges. As a result, roads and bridges in particular in HCM City, are becoming increasingly unfit for purpose.
The Van Thanh 2 bridge is one of the worst. Situated in the east of the city with links to Sai Gon port, everyday around 30,000 – 40,000 trucks cross the bridge. It is in such a bad state that recently, a hole has appeared on the surface.
"In day time it's better because trucks are banned in the city but at night time, the bridge shakes under the weight of 30-tonne trucks. My house is 300m away from the bridge but I still feel it," Tran Thanh Tai, a resident at Binh Thanh district told the Sai Gon Giai Phong (Liberated Sai Gon) newspaper.
Duc Nho bridge at National Highway No 13, Thu Duc district, is in a similar situation. Although officially, trucks weighing over 15-tonnes are banned, thousand 20 and 30 tonne trucks use the bridge. The bridge was built pre-1975 and although repaired in 2011 is still not able to withstand this level of strain.
However, after Hiep Phuoc port was built the bridges in Nha Be district have been the most serious affected. This month, the port is scheduled to open officially and is expected to receive 50,000 tonne ships with a total capacity of 8.5 million tonnes of cargo per year. Despite this, the road and bridge systems for the port are still not ready, in particular the iron-enforced bridge.
In a last minute bid to improve the situation, the Transport Department has reviewed and checked all weak and temporary bridges and made plans to repair and upgrade them where possible. In the meantime, a warning system has been put in place.
The bridges that have been noted as weak include district 1's Dien Bien Phu 1,2, Thi Nghe 1, district 5's Y, district 8's Nhi Thien Duong 1, Binh Thanh district's Van Thanh 2. — VNS