The construction of a bridge project in Ho Chi Minh City which began seven years ago is yet to be completed due to local authorities' inability to come to a compensation agreement with families currently living on land needed for the project.
In 2013, two years after officially breaking ground, the project’s contractor has done little more than building just two support columns for the bridge and fill the construction site with hundreds of thousands of dollars of material that’s now gathering dust.
Residents of Nha Be, a suburban district located nearly 14 kilometers from the city center, are forced to depend on the crumbling Phuoc Loc Bridge for their commute as they eagerly await progress to be made on the under-construction bridge.
The Phuoc Loc Bridge is in such a state of disrepair that it perilously shakes under the collective weight just five motorcycles and locals have been forced to block truck access by installing steel drums filled with hardened cement at its entrances.
|A motorcycle on the Phuoc Loc Bridge in Nha Be District, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Photo: Tuoi Tre|
The new bridge’s developer, a state-run firm, said the construction was suspended last year after authorities failed to reach a compensation agreement with local residents living on land needed for the project.
Of the 84 families asked to relocated, only 62 accepted the government’s proposed compensation package of VND14 million ($602) for each square meter of land, a sum which the remaining 22 families say is much lower than the market price.
The developer said the cost of the bridge is now estimated at VND405 billion ($17.4 million), up about VND70 billion ($3 million) from what was originally expected.
Local authorities are still evaluating their options in dealing with the households who want to stay, including a suggestion put forward to forcibly remove the residents from their land.
According to the developer, once the area is clear, the bridge will take just 18 months to erect.