As many as 42 suspension bridges in the Central Highlands province of Lam Dong will be replaced or repaired in 2015 at a total estimated cost of nearly 43 billion VND (2 million USD).

The provincial People’s Committee has approved a project on the construction of nine new bridges which will be carried out in early this year. The rest will be repaired latter to ensure safety for local residents.

The work is part of a 931 billion VND (44 million USD) project to build 186 suspension bridges in 28 cities and provinces in the northern, central and Central Highlands regions.

Outlined by the Ministry of Transport, the scheme aims to help improve living conditions for inhabitants in mountainous and remote areas of the country and mitigate the risks of traffic accidents, especially during the flood season.

The plan is also to deal with the fact that 40 percent of all the suspension bridges across the country are in need of urgent repairs or reconstruction, according to the ministry.

Figures from the ministry indicate that there are about 1,950 suspension bridges in Vietnam. About 810 operational bridges - roughly 40 percent - have shown signs of erosion and rust.

Up to 94 percent of them are located on roads connecting villages and communes.-VNA