The Hanoi People’s Committee decided to establish a specialist team to support the repair and renovation of Long Bien Bridge because the structure has been seriously damaged over time.
The team, comprising both Vietnamese and French experts, will be led by Do Viet Hai, deputy director of the municipal Department of Transport, to implement the Long Bien Bridge rehabilitation project financed by the French government.
The team is in charge of collaborating with the French Embassy in Vietnam in studying the renovation of the bridge, detailing the project, and executing it in line with regulations.
Completed in 1902, Hanoi’s historic and iconic Long Bien Bridge bears the wear and tear not only of time but also of thousands of vehicles that use it every day.
The 120-year-old bridge crossing the Red River currently serves three national rail routes -- Hanoi-Hai Phong, Hanoi-Dong Dang, and Hanoi-Lao Cai.
Its road section is reserved for bicycles and motorbikes.
Every day, tens of thousands of vehicles, trains, motorcycles, and bicycles cross the bridge, leading to its deterioration despite several rounds of repairs and reinforcement.
The rails that separate the rail tracks from the road have been damaged in several sections.
The wooden cross beams on the railway track are rotting but have not been replaced.
As a safety measure, trains cannot travel at more than 15 kilometers per hour when crossing the bridge.
During rush hours in the morning and afternoon, two-wheeler traffic slows down to a crawl and the bridge bears the weight of thousands of vehicles.
In several places, iron plates have been used to cover cracks in the road.
Most recently, a large hole, about one square meter, appeared on the surface of the bridge on Tuesday morning, letting pedestrians clearly see the Red River through it.
As a quick fix, relevant agencies erected barriers on the two sides of a road leading to the bridge to prevent vehicles transporting voluminous items and overweight trucks from crossing it.