Solutions to the fractures found at the under-construction Vam Cong Bridge in Vietnam’s Mekong Delta is expected to complete by the end of 2018, which may put the project a year behind schedule, an official from the transport ministry has said.
The construction of Vam Cong Bridge connecting Dong Thap Province and Can Tho City over the Hau (Back) River started in 2013 and was ceased in November 2017 after some cracks were discovered on a steel girder at the top of abutment No. P29.
As the bridge is symmetrical, the cracks later led to fractures on the girder at the abutment No. P28, but the situation is less severe.
Measuring 2.97 kilometers long and 24.5 meters wide, the structure is developed at a cost of US$271 million, funded by official development assistance (ODA) from the South Korean government and Vietnam’s budget.
Seven months on, the cracking issue has yet to be solved.
During an interview with Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper on Tuesday, Le Kim Thanh, head of the Transport Engineering Construction and Quality Management Bureau under the Ministry of Transport, said the cracks are expected to be fixed by the end of the year.
“The process may be affected by the weather as the region has entered the rainy season, but we will try out best,” Thanh stated.
|Le Kim Thanh, head of the Transport Engineering Construction and Quality Management Bureau under the Ministry of Transport. Photo: Tuoi Tre|
About 98 percent of the bridge construction has been finished, he added.
The transport ministry, in coordination with the Ministry of Construction and experts from Vietnam and South Korea has carried out examination to determine the cause of the fractures, the official continued.
The United Kingdom-based Arup Group has also been asked for their consultation.
Results from all parties showed that there are three main reasons behind the cracks, namely stress concentration, residual stress, and welding quality.
Repair works are expected to replace about 60 percent of the affected steel girders, said Thanh.
Replacing the entire girder is not viable and much more complicated as the structure is near completion, he added.
More in-depth tests will be conducted to figure out which unit is responsible for the cracks.
The bridge was initially scheduled to open to traffic by the end of this year, but this timeline may be delayed by at least one year thanks to the serious problem posed by those fractures, according to a representative from the construction ministry.