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Restoration of Hanoi's historic bridge to complete this year: official
By Mai Ha - Thanh Nien News -
 Workers work on Hanoi's Long Bien Bridge. Photo: Ngoc Thang
Work to restore Hanoi's 112-year-old Long Bien Bridge will be finished this year, instead of next year like initially planned, a local official told Thanh Nien on Thursday.
Launched in April, the VND298-billion ($13.46 million) project was meant to fix the damage on the bridge and reinforce its structure so it can continue serving both rail and road traffic for the next five years, Nguyen Tien Hai, a project manager with the state-owned Vietnam Railways, said.
When a new bridge which has been planned about 75 meters from Long Bien is completed, train traffic will be diverted there.
Long Bien, meanwhile, will be restored again so it can specifically serve road traffic only, Hai said.
The new bridge is part of a 28-kilometer elevated rail route being built between Yen Vien Town in Gia Lam District and Ngoc Hoi in Thanh Tri Commune.
Long Bien was originally 1,800 meters long and had a single-track railway in the middle with car and pedestrian lanes on both sides.
American bombings during the Vietnam War left it severely damaged.
A reconstruction effort launched in 1973 and ended with only half of the bridge's original structure successfully restored.