Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI — The capital city will reopen some 130 spans of centenary arch bridges that have been sealed with concrete for more than a decade.
The 131 sealed bridge spans from the inner Hoàn Kiếm District’s Phùng Hưng Street to the Long Biên Railway Station will be reopened as part of a project to expand cultural space for the capital’s residents, chairman of the city’s People’s Committee Nguyễn Đức Chung said at a recent meeting with voters of the district.
“The district’s People’s Committee has invited experts to plan the project, after which we will ask for opinions from the city’s Party Committee on reopening the bridge spans,” Chung said.
Four of the spans have been reopened to create walkways for citizens, and the remaining 127 will be renovated to make them public spaces for citizens, which will be similar to either the book street model or a venue for art and cultural activities, he said.
“Reopening the spans will not only create more cultural spaces for citizens and boost the city’s tourism but also facilitate traffic in inner city, especially on the narrow Gầm Cầu Street, whose surface has been damaged,” he said.
The bridge spans were constructed a century ago during the French colonisation era and later sealed by the city to ensure social security.
The spaces around the spans have been taken up by residents of Phùng Hưng Street to open clothing and food kiosks. Interspersed between the spans are three flyovers going across the streets of Nguyễn Thiệp, Hàng Lược and Phùng Hưng.
Residents on Gầm Cầu Street said they supported the reopening of the spans, but were worried the move would result in increased social vices.
“Some 10 years ago, we were all anxious as a lot of factory workers, beggars and drug addicts were frequenting this area,” Tâm, a street vendor on the street, told the Zing online newspaper.
New spaces for art and cultural activities have been recently opened in the capital city to serve demands of the citizens and tourists. The walking area around Hoàn Kiếm Lake and the 19/12 Book Street have become some of the distinctive features of the city. — VNS