Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI — Repairs on Thăng Long Bridge must be durable for at least ten years and only measures that meet this requirement will be considered. Pilot proposals will be rejected, said transport minister Nguyễn Văn Thể.
The 33-year-old bridge was repaired for the first time in 2009 with total expenditure of up to VNĐ100 billion (US$4.3 million). However, the new layer of concrete soon degraded. Despite several other repairs, a number of cracks and pot holes have appeared on the surface of the bridge.
According to the latest inspection, over 8,700 sq.m of road surface are cracked, while pot holes distort traffic markings painted on the road surface and endanger drivers.
Drivers said that the repaired areas easily sink, erode or crack just after torrential rain.
The increased vehicle load is one reason behind the degradation of the bridge.
Dr Tô Giang Lam from the University of Transport said that maintenance of Thăng Long Bridge will be difficult without undertaking general repair first.
Without proper technical solutions, the quality and durability of the bridge will not be ensured, he said.
To repair the bridge, the transport minister asked consultation agencies to select accountable and experienced contractors.
Nguyễn Văn Huyện, head of the Directorate for Roads of Viet Nam said that Russian experts have been invited to provide consultations on bridge surface repair and will come to Việt Nam from September 17 to 21.
Transport minister Thể ordered the establishment of a working group led by a transport deputy minister to meet with the Russian experts.
Thăng Long Bridge is a key transport project connecting the capital city centre with suburban areas and northern localities.
Before the Nhật Tân Bridge opened to traffic, Thăng Long Bridge crossing the Hồng (Red) River was the only route to travel from Nội Bài International Airport to the city centre.
It was opened to traffic in 1985 as a symbol of Việt Nam-Russia friendship. — VNS