Beautiful Vietnam
Hanoi sealed railway arches to reopen in December
  • | tienphong, | November 14, 2018 02:11 PM
The six old railway arches which were sealed for more than a decade will be reopened in December.


Railway arches in Hanoi

131 spans of arches in Hanoi were built during the French colonial period and had been sealed by the city because of crime concerns. The authorities hope that after being re-opened, the site will become an attraction for various activities and help boost tourism.

After gathering opinions from related agencies, the management board of Hanoi Old Quarter decided to open the first six arches in the pilot programme this early December. Dang Dinh Bang, deputy head of the management board, said that they had completed most legal procedures and was assigned as the project's investor.

"The consultant has proposed several ways on how to use the arches. Some arches can be used to display products and introduce traditional villages and the others can be used for food streets or start-up projects. After the arches are reopened, we'll renovate them so that they won't be wasted or encroached," he said.

The Old Quarter Management Board also suggested that Hoan Kiem authorities should improve the infrastructure of Hang Cot-Hang Giay streets around the arches.

When being asked whether the arches are too small for street food, Bang said there was no need for large spaces. Each arch measures 14 to 20 square metres which are ideal for the Old Quarter. When the Phan Dinh Phung Street was revived with mural paintings, the locals switched to more suitable businesses with the surrounding on their own.

However, there are still concerns about railway safety. Many households, firms and state agencies have caused problems for railway safety over the past years.

"We believe the locals will understand and support us. When the mural project was being carried out, we removed many parking lots and street stalls to improve the urban environment," Bang said. "The first six arches also connect with the Hang Dao-Hang Giay area and the mural area."

The management board has proposed to the Hoan Kiem authorities to organise various events at those areas such as the ao dai fashion show on October 20. If the project becomes successful, Hanoi will have more venue for cultural activities and help ease the crowd at Hoan Kiem pedestrian streets on special occasions.

Hoan Kiem People's Committee also agreed that if the railway arch area can be pedestrianised, In the future, the Old Quarter Management Board will set up a plan for parking areas to realise the plan.

Pham Tuan Long, vice chairman of Hoan Kiem People's Committee, said it would take from two to three months to open the arches and design the spaces.

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