|Trinh Van Y is Chairman of Ben Tre province’s Bridge and Road Science and Technology Association. (Photo: baodautu.vn)
Over nearly 20 years, Mr. Trinh Van Y and his colleagues have built more than 2,000 bridges, and 500 kilometers of roads.
In 2001, Y retired after working as vice chairman of Ben Tre province’s People’s Committee for 3 terms. Realizing the traffic system was underdeveloped and there were too many makeshift bridges in Ben Tre, Y immediately gathered bridge and road engineers and founded the provincial Bridge and Road Science and Technology Association. He had persuaded many benefactors and organizations inside and outside the country to donate funds to build community works.
Toni Ruttimann, a Swiss philanthropist, supported Ben Tre in the construction of 48 suspension bridges. The W. P. Schmitz Foundation of Germany, a non-profit organization funded the building of 181 bridges in the countryside. Another 500 bridges were constructed with the help by Phap Hoa pagoda of Ho Chi Minh City.
Mr. Trinh Van Y said “The construction works were carried out with the funds contributed by benefactors and local people. We compiled dossiers, designed, and sought donations. I am so delighted that many organizations and philanthropists have supported this effort”.
Besides building bridges, Mr. Y and his engineers also repaired degraded infrastructure in the locality. Every year, Y made nearly 100 fact-finding tours to remote areas.
Mr. Tran Quang Khai, vice chairman of Phuoc My Trung commune, Ben Tre province, said the local traffic system has improved and many makeshift bridges were eliminated thanks to the contribution of Mr. Y.
“Our commune now has concrete bridges. The infrastructure is much better thanks to Trinh Van Y and his colleagues. Despite his retirement age, Mr. Y is very enthusiastic,” Khai said.
Trinh Van Y has also helped build around 200 bridges in other areas including some communes in Ha Noi and Ninh Binh province.
Ben Tre province’s Bridge and Road Science and Technology Association now has more than 450 members. Trinh Van Y has received many orders and certificates of merit from the Prime Minister. He is one of 70 individuals and groups to have been honored on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of President Ho Chi Minh’s call for patriotic emulation.
“Despite my age, I will continue to contribute to the community and I hope to receive support from more philanthropists,” Mr. Y said.