10 April 2013
A dragon-shaped bridge that actually breathes fire, designed by US-based Louis Berger Group, has been inaugurated in Vietnam.
Vietnam’s Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc cut the ribbon on the Dragon Bridge, which crosses the Han River in Da Nang, on 29 March to celebrate 38 years of liberation.
The bridge has a total length of 666 meters and its 37.5 metre-wide deck accommodates six traffic lanes.
The dragon belches fire on special occasions. (Credit: Vietnamnet)
The dragon belches fire on special occasions, spans 568 metres and weighs 9,000 tons.
It is part of a master plan that links the local airport to the city’s beach and other attractions.
Da Nang People’s Committee (DNPC) selected Louis Berger Group and Ammann & Whitney (A&W) to design the $37m bridge along with public plazas on either side.
"This achievement is the result of the determination of Da Nang’s leaders and the consensus of the local people," the deputy prime minister said.
The low profile was intentional. (Credit: Louis Berger Group)
Louis Berger Group said the team first analysed traffic demand, existing land use, alternate locations and likely funding sources.
Construction began in February 2008 on a fast-track basis.
The bridge was kept low for a reason: "Unlike a high-level bridge, where bridge abutments block and disrupt historic parts of a city, the design started and finished at street levels, allowing vehicles and pedestrian traffic to directly access the heart of the city," the company said.