A proposal to spend nearly VND299 billion (US$13.5 million) to build a new railway bridge in southern Vietnam has been approved after a century-old one collapsed last Sunday in a collision with a barge.
In a dispatch sent to the Ministry of Transport and the Vietnam Railway Corporation on Wednesday, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung ordered the latter to be responsible for designing and building the new Ghenh Bridge.
Funding will come from the state budget and construction will also include an upgrade of a road running through the bridge.
Work is expected to start in early April and complete on July 17.
A large span of the 223-meter Ghenh Bridge across the Dong Nai River collapsed on March 20 after being hit by a barge carrying 600 tons of sand.
No casualties were reported, but the incident immediately paralyzed the north-south rail service that connects Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi. There is no alternative route.
All southbound trains from Hanoi had to stop at Dong Nai’s Bien Hoa Railway Station and passengers were taken to HCMC by bus.
Meanwhile, passengers from the Saigon Railway Station were taken by bus to Dong Nai for their northward journey.
Barge driver Tran Van Giang, 36, and his assistant Nguyen Van Le, 28, were arrested on March 21 while the duo was hiding in the Mekong Delta province of Soc Trang.