A massive fire-breathing dragon now stands guard over a Vietnamese river.
But there’s no princess to save on the other side. What this dragon is rescuing is a major urban gridlock.
The new Dragon Bridge, or Rong Bridge, spans the Han River in Da Nang, the Vietnamese port city that is home to nearly 1 million people. Connecting downtown with coastal districts, the bridge is located at a busy taxi hub.
The bridge opened March 29 to commemorate the 38th anniversary of Da Nang's liberation.
Breathing fire and water, a 1,864-foot-long steel dragon spans a new bridge in Vietnam.
Construction started on the 1,864-foot-long Dragon Bridge in July 2009. At about 123 feet wide, the bridge accomodates six lanes of traffic. The total cost of the bridge was more than VND1.7 trillion (about $85 million US).
The dragon was designed in the style of the Ly Dynasty dragon, symbol of the 11th-century monarchy that fended off Chinese control.
Lights, Fire and Water
At night, more than 2,500 LED lights brighten the structure, which can launch giant plumes of smoke and fire and jets of water, Yahoo! News reported.
Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, Minister of Transport Dinh La Thang, and party and local officials cut the ribbon to inaugurate the Dragon Bridge.
Just over half a mile away, the sail-shaped Tran Thi Ly Bridge, which crosses the same river, was also inaugurated. The two bridges are considered new symbols of the city and a tourist attraction.
VietNamNet Online Newspaper
The Dragon Bridge was designed by the New Jersey-based Louis Berger Group.
Deputy PM Phuc praised the city's ability to synchronize infrastructure development.
"This achievement is the result of the determination of Da Nang's leaders and the consensus of the local people," said Phuc, reported VietNamNet.
"The Government always supports Da Nang to become the center of economic, cultural and economic development in the central and Central Highlands region as well as the country," said Phuc.
The bridge was designed by the Louis Berger Group and is currently the only bridge with a single steel arch design in Southeast Asia, according to VietNamNet.
Headquartered in Morristown, NJ, the Louis Berger Group provides engineering, architecture, program and construction management, environmental planning and science, and economic development services. The company is one of 10 firms that makes up Berger Group Holdings.
Vietnam's New Dragon Bridge actually spits fire and water.
For the Ly Dynasty (1010–1225), the dragon represents the King and has a curved, rounded body with 12 sections representing the months of the year. These dragons are said to hold responsibility for the crops and are able to change the weather.
The Tran Thi Ly Bridge, which opened the same day, bears the shape of a sail. The bridge is 731 meters long, 34.5 meters wide bridge, and cost about same as the Dragon Bridge.
VietNamNet (left) / TalkVietnam.com (right)
The sail-shaped Tran Thi Ly Bridge opened the same morning, on the same river, as the Dragon Bridge.
In total, six bridges cross the Han River: the Han River, Thuan Phuoc, Nguyen Van Troi, Tran Thi Ly, Dragon Bridge, and Tien Son. The new Tran Thi Ly is adjacent to Nguyen Van Troi, which it was built to replace.
$85 million??? How much would this cost in the US?
Comment from William Cornelius, (4/15/2013, 8:46 AM)
"...the 38th anniversary of Da Nang's liberation..." That is kind of a point of view thing.
Comment from Donald L Crusan, (4/15/2013, 9:07 AM)
$85 million??? How much would this cost in the US? Are you serious? Reread the article. The $ is the United States Dollar Sign. So, I guess that means 85 million in the US.
Comment from Mike McCloud, (4/16/2013, 9:28 AM)
I meant if the dragon bridge was built with US labor. The new International Trade Crossing bridge is starting off at 2.1 billion, and it looks smaller. The Big Dig in Boston started at $2 billion and is now $22 billion and climbing still. Obama signed it.