|Vehicles use Rạch Miễu ferry crossing Tiền River on Wednesday morning. — VNA/VNS Photo Huỳnh Phúc Hậu|
BẾN TRE — The Rạch Miễu temporary ferry station started operation on Wednesday, offering a ferry service to cross the Tiền River that links the Mekong Delta provinces of Tiền Giang and Bến Tre.
The ferry station is 10km from the Rạch Miễu Bridge. In the early stage, three ferries will be operated to carry passengers across the river, helping reduce traffic on the Rạch Miễu Bridge.
The ferries accept vehicles with loads of less than 30 tonnes and a height of less than 3.9m.
Pedestrians and two-wheel vehicles can travel free of charge using the ferries while fees for other vehicles will be the same as those for the Rạch Miễu Bridge, said Trần Ngọc Tam, chairman of Bến Tre Province People’s Committee.
Director of the province’s Transport Department Cao Minh Đức said once traffic congestion was reported at toll stations on the Rạch Miễu Bridge, authorities will direct traffic and prioritise coaches and trucks with loads of less than 30 tonnes to use the ferries.
The ferries are expected to operate from now to 2025 until the construction of Rạch Miễu 2 bridge is completed.
The Rạch Miễu Bridge was opened to traffic in 2009, replacing the operation of the old Rạch Miễu ferry terminal. The bridge was designed to serve a daily volume of 3,000-6,000 vehicles, but the number of vehicles using the bridge has soared to 18,000 each day.
Given this situation, Bến Tre and Tiền Giang provinces planned to build a second bridge crossing the Tiền River to ease the traffic congestion.
While waiting for the second bridge project to be implemented, the two provinces decided to build the ferry station to cope with the traffic congestion which is usually worse during holidays, especially the upcoming Tết (Lunar New Year) holiday. — VNS