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Hoan Kiem Lake Embankment Undergoes 4-Month Renovation

On Monday, workers began placing 2.5-meter-high concrete blocks around a section of the lake to create a 40-meter embankment.

The makeover comes as segments of the current embankment began cracking in 2019, and a section of concrete broke off and fell into the water, as reported by VnExpress. Pham Tuan Long, vice chairman of the Hoan Kiem District People's Committee, explained: "The entire embankment will be built with dark green concrete slabs. Ho Guom (Sword Lake) will retain its signature characteristics after the renovation."

Work is being performed at night, from 10pm to 5am, with an emphasis on quick completion so as not to disrupt normal activities around Hanoi's iconic lake. The precast concrete blocks ensure that the underlying soil, nearby trees and the lake itself will be unaffected by the construction. The project is expected to finish by September 2.

Plans to make the area surrounding the lake safer and more aesthetically agreeable have been discussed since 2010, and an official proposal was presented in January 2020 with exhibitions placed around the lake to gather public opinion. Depending on how the changes in this first section go, other areas surrounding the lake might also receive attention.

In addition to the embankments, new granite slabs will cover walking paths, and a nearby flower garden will get an improved water drainage system. 

This is not the first, albeit one of the less controversial, changes made to Hoan Kiem in recent years. Swans were introduced to the lake in 2018 and swiftly removed after 24 hours when scientists said they were incongruent with the ecosystem. Earlier this year, people have discussed releasing doves into the area. 

[Photo via Flickr user Andrew Hux]

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