|The Chau Hoi suspension bridge in Chau Hoi Commune, Nghe An Province. The Ministry of Transport has set a deadline for the completion of 186 bridges in mountainous provinces across the country by the end of this June.— VNA/VNS Photo Le Ba Lieu
HA NOI (VNS) — The Ministry of Transport set the start of this year's rainy season as the deadline for completing the national goal of building 186 suspension bridges in mountainous provinces across the country.
At a conference reviewing suspension bridge construction plans on Tuesday, Deputy Minister of Transport Nguyen Hong Truong said the 186 bridges must be operational by the end of this June to serve the travel needs of students and residents.
Truong said he expects to see reports on the bridges' construction designs and quotations by April 15.
Ultimately, more than 295 suspension bridges, with an investment capital of VND1.3 trillion (US$60.5 million), will be constructed and be put to use by the end of June, 2016 he said.
Nguyen Trung Sy, head of the Directorate for Roads of Viet Nam, said as many as 183 bridges designs are finished and are at least partly under construction.
However, he said, some construction units were moving too slow, namely Thanh Long JSC and Construction No3 JSC. The directorate said he would consider changing to other construction units to quicken the pace.
Pham Quang Vinh, deputy head of the directorate, said a plan to tackle the remaining four bridges is under way, however these bridges might remain behind schedule.
He said local authorities were slow at clearing bridge sites; some sites showing no progress at all.
At the conference, experts raised their doubts about the technical designs of some of the suspension bridges and proposed that the ministry hire just one design unit to manage the construction of the nearly 300 bridges.
Deputy Minister Truong said the proposal would be considered.
He asked local authorities to quicken the pace of site clearance. He also asked the directorate to make a list of bridges which still need to attract more investors to meet funding needs and to build a software program to monitor the many bridge projects.
Figures from the Ministry of Transport indicate that, of the 1,950 suspension bridges in Viet Nam, only 810 are operational, and roughly 40 per cent show signs of erosion and rust.
Almost 94 per cent of these bridges are located on roads connecting small villages and communes. — VNS