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07/11/2020 - 07:58

The ironwood walkway is safe after the prolonged rain and flood

After days of being submerged in water and enduring the flood flow, the ironwood walkway along the southern bank of the Huong River remains firm and intact after the water receded.

The ironwood walkway is safe after being submerged in prolonged flood and rain

After days of floods and rains, we returned to the ironwood walkway along the southern bank of the Huong River when the muddy water had completely withdrawn from the wooden walkway. The walkway was immediately cleaned up by the environmental sanitation workers. Many people have also returned to this place to walk and to do exercise after the days of flooding due to prolonged rain.

What surprises many people is that the walkway is still intact, solid and shows no signs of deterioration despite being  submerged by flood water for many days.

The ironwood walkway officially opened in early 2019. For the last two years, it has become one of the impressive and popular destinations of visitors and local residents.

However, prior to the start of construction, this project "caused storms" of public opinion when there were many conflicting opinions. Some people believed that it was unreasonable, because the construction area on the southern bank of the Huong River is often flooded in the rainy season, that the walkway would obstruct the flow, or that the ironwood will not withstand the weather conditions and deteriorate quickly. Some claimed that it would create an impact on the landscape and environment.

But at that time, Mr. Nguyen Van Thanh, Chairman of Hue City People's Committee asserted that the selection of ironwood for paving the bridge was a very careful choice of both the Korean consultants and the approval council of Hue City and the province. The ironwood looks new and beautiful, is weather-resistant and more importantly, is very water resistant compared to other types of wood.

The construction of such a project was also considered to adapt to weather in general and floods in particular. If the floodwater rises, the walkway will be submerged, but after a few days, it will recede.

At that time, the project management team also explained that ironwood is one of the four superior types of wood (Markhamia stipulata , ironwood, Mukulungu, Apitong) with the outstanding advantage of being very hard, solid, and durable, especially in hot and humid tropical climates. The use of ironwood will create a long-term aesthetic and its own character.

Mr. Nguyen Viet Bang, Head of Hue City Management Department said that, through a lot of floods, especially the flood that lasted in October, the ironwood walkway along the southern bank of the Huong River is still very safe and intact. This proves the sustainability factor of the walkway.

According to Mr. Bang, as soon as the water receded, the Department had assigned staff to clean the area. In the process, they also inspected the timber system, the railing, as well as the electrical system (which was turned off before flooding). All is in good condition and shows no irregular sign.

“However, we will also have a reevaluation, especially with the structure on the underside of the wooden floor. In the coming time, we will use oils to re-brush the railing surface and wooden surface to ensure the aesthetic elements of the walkway for local residents and visitors,” Mr. Bang said.

The walkway along the Huong River is a reinforced concrete structure with a 5cm-thick ironwood deck on top. The ironwood was imported from South Africa, so it completely did not affect the local forests and the forest protection policy of the Vietnamese Government. The entire project was sponsored 100% by the Korean Government, through Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) in Vietnam and without any conditions attached.

Story, photo: Nhat Minh