A new highway bridge spanning more than a quarter of a kilometer
over the Honghe River on the border of China and Vietnam is
expected to be completed and open to vehicles in December.
The bridge linking southwest China's Yunnan Province, and Lao
Cai, in Vietnam, will be the third on the Honghe River, also known
as Red River when it flows out of China, constructed at Hekou, on
the Chinese side.
The new bridge -- 295 meters long and 21.5 meters wide -- was
necessary to allow transport of the growing volume of cross-border
trade, said a Hekou county government spokesman.
It would ease pressure on the existing highway bridge and
Under the agreement between the governments of China and Vietnam
in June last year, both countries are required to share the
construction and the total cost of about US$8.4 million.
"The Chinese government will shoulder 39.3 million yuan (US$5.1
million) of the cost and half of the construction of the bridge,"
said the spokesman.
"The new bridge is necessary because the growing trade and flow
of people has exceeded the capacities of the existing bridges, as
can be seen in the increasingly frequent traffic jams," said the
The new bridge, begun in October, would connect with freeways
running to Kunming, capital of Yunnan, and Hanoi in Vietnam, which
would eventually cut the travel time between the cities from the
present 17 hours to 13 hours.
Hekou, as a major border trade station, reported the crossing of
444,595 tons of cargo in the first quarter, up 16.27 percent, from
the same period last year, and trade worth US$235 million, up
110.44 percent, according to the local customs.
The Honghe River originates in northwestern Yunnan and empties
into the Beibu Gulf at Hai-phong in Vietnam.
(Xinhua News Agency May 11, 2007)