|The district has 94 bridges, including 75 suspension bridges and 10 pontoon bridges. Many were built by local residents out of simple materials such as bamboo and wood. — VNA/VNS Photo Minh Tam
SON LA (VNS) — Most bridges crossing the Ma River in the northern province of Son La's Song Ma District have deteriorated, posing risks for local residents, particularly during the flood season.
The district has 94 bridges, including 75 suspension bridges and 10 pontoon bridges. Many were built by local residents out of simple materials such as bamboo and wood.
Hundreds of people and vehicles cross each bridge every day.
Bui Thi Chinh, who lives in Chieng Khoong commune, said that when she crossed the commune's handrail-less bridge, it swung from side to side, making her feel terrified.
Vice Chairwoman of the People's Committee of Song Ma District Cam Thi Ngoc Yen said only 25 out of the 94 bridges were safe enough to use.
While local authorities planned to repair 45 and remove 15, the lack of funding made this difficult, she said, adding that they had set up warning signals and signs guiding residents to avoid deteriorated bridges.
Earlier this year, the Government approved a VND931 billion (US$44 million) plan to build 186 suspension bridges in 28 cities and provinces in the northern, central and Central Highland regions. The plan addresses 40 per cent of the more than 1,940 suspension bridges across the country in need of urgent repairs or reconstruction. — VNS