Long Bien Bridge is the first steel bridge crossing Hanoi Red River and regarded as the historical witness of Hanoi in two resistance wars. It connects Hoan Kiem District and Long Bien District of Hanoi.
In 1897, the French Governor Paul Doumer passed Long Bien Bridge’s construction project to improve local infrastructure. In 1898, Dayde & Pille – a French company – was chosen to become the designer and constructor of Long Bien Bridge.
The construction of the Long Bien bridge started in 1899, finished in 1902. The bridge was named Doumer after the name of the French Governor. At that time, this was the biggest bridge in Indochina and hailed as “the bridge connecting two centuries”.
The bridge is 2,290m long with 19 steel girders placed on 20 piers that are more than 40m high. Besides, the bridge includes 896m-stone path, a railway in the middle and lanes for simple vehicles and pedestrians in two sides of the bridge. The pedestrian lane was the best place for sightseeing and enjoying fresh air in Hanoi.
After the Liberation of Hanoi on 10 October 1954, the bridge was renamed Long Bien. During the resistance war (1954-1975), Vietnam People’s Army built two artillery battlefields in the middle area of Red River and used the high places on the bridge as artillery placements to shoot American aircrafts. The bridge girders destroyed by American bomb were replaced by semi-permanent beams with short spans on the new piers to ensure traffic on the bridge. In 2002, Long Bien Bridge was repaired and reinforced.
Nowadays, Long Bien Bridge is used for trains, motorbikes, bicycles and pedestrians only. Opposed to Vietnam’s traffic, the bridge’s direction of transportation means is on the left. There is still a metal piece engraved construction time and constructor name at the bridge head.