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VN needs $36.7m for waterway safety

Update: July, 25/2016 - 18:00
The north-south railway system was stopped after a barge crashed into the Ghềnh Bridge in Biên Hòa City, the southern province of Đồng Nai so that it collapsed. More than 200 bridges in the country do not follow technical norms for waterway traffic safety. – VNA/VNS Photo Sỹ Tuyên
Viet Nam News

HÀ NỘI – The country needs nearly VNĐ825 billion (US$36.7 million) to ensure waterway traffic safety and upgrade waterway infrastructure by 2018, the latest report of the Việt Nam Inland Waterways Administration (VIWA) has said.

VIWA statistics show that the country has more than 646 bridges, of which 251 do not follow technical norms for inland waterway traffic safety.

Trần Văn Thọ, deputy director of VIWA, said yesterday the bridges did not have any remote warning system, and many of the structures were weak and degraded. The country did not have any plan to upgrade them or build new bridges to replace the old ones.

The waterway traffic route through whirling currents is especially dangerous during the flood season, posing a high risk of accidents and causing damage to the bridges.

The VIWA checked 72 bridges and proposed measures for 67 of them. It suggests installing remote warning devices and searching for measures to prevent bridge piles from being damaged with the help of VNĐ72.6 billion ($3.2 million).

The VIWA said 54 bridges needed to be upgraded with funds of VNĐ317 billion ($14.1 million) next year. In 2018, about 62 bridges will need to be upgraded with funding of VNĐ434.7 billion ($19.3 million).

In the 2018-20 period and later, the VIWA suggested the transport ministry should ask the Directorate for Việt Nam Roads and Railways to check all weak bridges to replace or fix them or to build new ones.

Concerned organisations must closely watch waterway traffic where bridges face a high risk of drifting and accidents. – VNS

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