In 1897, the French Governor – General in Indochina Paul Doumer passed Long Bien Bridge’s construction project to improve infrastructure forcolonial exploitation. In 1898, Dayde&Pille – a French company – was choosen to become the designer and constructor of Long Bien Bridge project. The bridge was started to build in 1899, finished in 1902 and named Doumer after the French Governor – General in Indochina. At that time, this was the biggest bridge in Indochina and hailed as “the bridge connecting two centuries” by the French. 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 Ha Noi at that time.
After Ha Noi’s Liberation Day (10 October 1954), the bridge was renamed Long Bien. During the resistance war against American Empire (1954-1975), Viet Nam People’s Army built twoartillery 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 Viet Nam’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.