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Bai Chay Bridge (Vietnam)

Vietnam's National Highway No. 18 is a trunk route connecting Hanoi (Noi Bai) International Airport to the town of Mong Cai on the Chinese border. In the past, this major route for cultural and economic exchange between Vietnam and China was interrupted by the strait of Ha Long Bay, forcing users of the road to rely on ferries to cross the strait. The ever expanding traffic volume over recent years was pushing the transportation capacity of the ferries to the limit.

The opening of this bridge is expected to improve traffic conditions on National Highway No. 18 as well as ease congestion on sea lanes. Freight and passenger traffic in the region are expected to flow more smoothly

Bai Chay Bridge
Year completed: 2006
Structure: Cable-stayed bridge
Length: 903.0 m
Effective width: 24.5 m

Staff Comments

Recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Ha Long Bay is one of the leading tourist sites in Vietnam. The Bai Chay Bridge boasts the world's longest center span (435 m) of any single-plane, cable-stayed, prestressed concrete bridge. It has attracted considerable interest in Vietnam, with large numbers of visitors coming to see the construction site, including the Prime Minister of Vietnam. From what I've heard, it seems the people of Vietnam take even greater pride in this bridge than those of us who built it. The bridge could be seen during construction above the ferries plying along the bridge route, and I overheard many people note their surprise as the bridge quietly continued to stretch across the strait.

One of the goals of building the Bai Chay Bridge was to transfer Japanese construction technologies to Vietnam. As construction proceeded, we held several seminars for Vietnamese engineers on design and construction technologies as well as operational maintenance. Eventually the operation of these seminars (including textbook preparation and related instructions) was taken over by the Vietnamese staff, making me confident that the construction of the Bai Chay Bridge was leading to an effective transfer of technologies.

The opening of the Bai Chay Bridge on December 2, 2006 was marked by a massive ceremony. I believe the bridge will not just improve traffic conditions in northern Vietnam, but also earn a place in the hearts of the Vietnamese people by becoming a cherished landmark on Ha Long Bay and a national resource for tourism.

The pneumatic caisson method

The Bai Chay Bridge illuminated at night

Side view

Balanced cantilever erection using a form traveler

Location of the Bai Chay Bridge

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