[December 24th] France grants $763,000 for Long Bien Bridge renovation

France has granted Hanoi ODA (official development assistance) worth over €700,000 (US$763,595) to study the feasibility of renovating the iconic Long Bien Bridge.

The study, to be done by French consultancy company Artelia and sponsored by the French Treasury, aims to limit the impacts of the bridge’s renovation on traffic and railways over the Long Bien Bridge, a press release issued Friday by the French Embassy in Hanoi read.

The Embassy said the ODA had been transferred from the French Treasury to the Hanoi People’s Committee around a month prior.

Artelia is meeting with several Hanoi entities to propose a renovation project suitable for the future use of the Long Bien Bridge, an icon of Hanoi and of the Vietnam-France connection.

France hopes the renovation can begin as soon as the study’s results are available, as the bridge has seriously deteriorated in recent years. The French Development Agency (AFD) will also be involved in the project and ready for discussions regarding financial supplies.

Long Bien Bridge, built by the French from 1898 to 1903, was severely damaged by U.S. bombings in 1967. Vietnam later renovated the bridge to ensure connections between Hanoi and Hai Phong.

The decision to fund the study was issued as Vietnam and France commemorate the 50th anniversary of their establishing diplomatic relations. Since 2004, France has funded several studies and sponsored experts to support the renovation of the historic bridge.

Source: VN Express