Hien Luong bridge crossing Ben Hai river located in Hien Luong village, Vinh Thanh commune, Vinh Linh district, Quang Tri province. Hien Luong located at 17 parallel also, Where was chosen to divide Vietnam become 2 lands like 2 countries from 1954 – 1975.
Hien Luong bridge crossing Ben Hai river
Before there is a bridge across the Ben Hai river, this river just have a ferry. Hien Luong bridge had built since 1928 by the Government of Vinh Linh with the contribute by local people. The bridge is made of wood, piles of iron about 2 m wide. It only enough for walker. In 1931, the bridge was upgraded by the Indochinese Federation but other vehicles still across the river by ferry. In 1943, It was upgraded again and in this time a small vehicles can pass.
By 1950, due to military needs, French was rebuilt with reinforced concrete, 162 m long, 3,6 m wide, 10-ton payload. This bridge had existed for two years until the Viet Minh guerrillas was destroy bridge by bomb to stop the advance of the French. May 1952, the French built a new bridge consisting of 7 spans, 178m long, cylindrical reinforced concrete, 4m wide, both sides have a height of 1.2 m sure, maximum payload of 18 tons bridge.
The bridge was divided into two parts, each 89m long and painted two different colors. There are 450 wood panels at northern and 444 wood panels at southern.
Actually this bridge too ordinary and nothing special about architecture. But why this bridge very famous? Following my guide, I know that where we are standing is the 17th parallel. After Gionever agreements was signed, It was chosen to divide the country. The bridge is a symbol showing the loss, separation and hurt. There is nothing hurt than when we see our country divided into two. At night the sound of fighting and gunfire rang out in bright white smoke roll up the sky. The soldier was died but their friends, family member still alive. They endure not only pain of body but also the soul.
When you research about the history in Hien Luong bridge and Ben Hai river, please don’t forget visit Truong Son Martyrs Cemetery and burn the incense to honor the unknown soldiers were falling down to get freedom for the country.