Commuters on a sea bridge that is over 5.44 kilometers long in the northern port city of Hai Phong have for weeks reported nails being scattered on the road’s surface, ripping holes in vehicles’ tires, as authorities scramble to put an end to the dishonesty.
The sea bridge, inaugurated on September 2, 2017 as part of the Tan Vu – Lach Huyen Highway in Hai Phong that connects the city’s downtown area with its Cat Hai District, is the longest of its kind in Vietnam.
The ‘nail scare’ began in mid-November, with authorities retrieving nearly three kilograms of iron nails from the bridge’s surface from November 19 to 20.
However, after a few days of inactivity, the nail litterers have returned this week and begun scattering nails once again, according to Phan Quang Ruc, director of a company responsible for maintaining the Tan Vu – Lach Huyen sea bridge.
In Vietnam, some motorbike repair shops scatter nails on roads to puncture vehicles’ tires, forcing commuters to use their service.
Road inspectors have been able to recover around 0.2-0.3 kilograms of nails from the bridge daily, but it is often reported that a new wave of nails appears as soon as a few hours after the old ones are collected.
|A road inspector picks up nails on the Tan Vu – Lach Huyen sea bridge in Hai Phong City. Photo: Tuoi Tre|
The nails measure around five to seven centimeters in length, with many being bent into an L-shape to increase their chances of ripping into tires.
Victims of the nails, most of whom are motorcyclists, are often forced to walk up to ten kilometers before reaching the nearest motorbike repair shop.
As there are no CCTV cameras installed on the bridge, it has been a challenge for authorities to catch the culprits red-handed, Ruc said.
Police in Hai An District have formed a working team to patrol the bridge and investigate the “nail scare” to bring those responsible to justice, said Le Anh Son, a senior traffic police officer in Hai Phong.
|Some of the iron nails are bent into an L-shape to increase their chances of ripping into vehicles’ tires. Photo: Tuoi Tre|
|Commuters stop to pick up nails on the Tan Vu – Lach Huyen sea bridge in Hai Phong City. Photo: Tuoi Tre|