Dan Tri Newspaper started the construction of the 12th bridge for disadvantaged people in Lai Vung Town, Dong Thap Province on February 15.
This is the 7th Dan Tri Bridge in the Mekong Delta and the 12th in Vietnam. Hundreds of pupils and locals attended the ground-breaking ceremony.
The new bridge will replace the dilapidated Vanh Dai Bridge across the Cai Ban River. The 20-year-old bridge was slippery whenever it rains and all the wooden parts have deteriorated. Many people said they were happy to have a new and safer bridge.
“We’ve dreamt about a new bridge for years. Elderly people like us couldn’t cross the bridge when it rained but the pupils still had to. There are pupils who fell into the river. Luckily they were saved,” said 88-year-old Phan Thi Bay.
Nguyen Ha Kieu Anh, a ninth grader said, “We were afraid of crossing the old bridge, especially when it rained or when a motorbike also crossing the bridge at the same time. A school child recently fell because no one wanted to give way.”
Ho Thanh Phuong, chairman of Lai Vung District expressed gratitude to Dan Tri’s readers and hoped that the co-operation between Dan Tri and the local authorities would improve.
Pham Huy Hoan, Dan Tri’s editor-in-chief said he hoped the construction would follow the schedule so that the bridge would be completed within two months to ensure safety for pupils.
The bridge will be 30m long and 3.5m wide. The bridge cost VND500m (USD22,000), in which VND118m are donated by readers, VND132m sourced from the charity fund of Dan Tri Newspaper and the remainder provided from the local budget.
A charity construction group will help build the bridge to reduce costs. Vo Van Ut, head of the construction group said the group was formed in 2009 and had helped built 78 bridges in rural areas. “We promise to complete the bridge in time and ensure all safety and aesthetic criteria,” he said.
At the ceremony, Dan Tri also gave 20 scholarships, each worth VND500,000 (USD22), to disadvantaged pupils in Lai Vung Town Primary School and Lai Vung Secondary School.