Hồ Chí Minh City rushes to complete vital infrastructure projects

(SGI) - After 47 years since the Liberation of the South of Vietnam and the Unification of the country as one, there have been many socio-economic changes in Hồ Chí Minh City. 
Illustrative photo.
Illustrative photo.

The City has completed several important transport infrastructure projects, thereby creating a new and modern outlook to the cityscape. These days the Central Government is also considering promulgating a mechanism to accelerate a number of traffic projects that will affect not just Hồ Chí Minh City but also the entire Southern economic region as well.

Works to complete in April

The Thủ Thiêm 2 bridge project is expected to be completed and in use before 30 April. This project was started in 2015, covering a length of 1.4 kms with six traffic lanes, and connecting the two banks of the Sài Gòn River from Thủ Thiêm New Urban Area and Thủ Đức City to the center of District 1. The Thủ Thiêm 2 Bridge has an investment of nearly VND 3,100 bn, with the first intersection along Tôn Đức Thắng and Lê Duẩn streets in District 1. From there it will connect the Sài Gòn River to the arc boulevard on Route R1 in Thủ Thiêm New Urban Area.

This project is being implemented under the model plan of Build-Transfer (BT), with investments by the Đại Quang Minh Real Estate Joint Stock Company. Initially, the City expected the bridge to be complete in 2018 but it encountered many problems, and hence there  was a delay. When complete, the project will help reduce traffic load at the intersection of many arterial roads in District 1, namely, Tôn Đức Thắng, Nguyễn Hữu Cảnh, and Lê Thánh Tôn streets. It will also promote socio-economic development of Thủ Đức City in particular and Hồ Chí Minh City in general.

The project to expand the Đồng Văn Cống road and Mỹ Thủy 3 bridge will also be completed within April, and will help in reducing traffic jams and unfortunate accidents on this route. It will also increase the carrying capacity for the gateway of Cát Lái Port. The Mỹ Thủy 3 bridge, part of the Mỹ Thủy intersection project, has a total investment of nearly VND 57 bn, and covers a length of 325 meters. The bridge is 75 meters in length and divided into two sections with each section being 12 meters in width.

This year, Hồ Chí Minh City will focus on developing transport infrastructure projects to help increase regional connectivity and reduce congestion. In particular, the parallel road construction project on Võ Văn Kiệt in District 1 is completing its last stages so as to be ready to open for traffic within April. This project has a total investment of VND 54 bn, starting 5 May 2021. The route covers a length of 615 meters with a width of 7 meters, located along Võ Văn Kiệt Boulevard, along the banks of the Tàu Hũ canal, and under the Calmette bridge. This is also an arterial road, linking Hồ Chí Minh City with neighboring provinces.

The project of upgrading and renovating Nước Đen roads and canals was started in the first quarter of 2020 with a total investment of  VND 629 bn and is also expected to be completed before 30 April. This project has been completed after two years, and will help people to commute more easily and also improve the environment in this area. Currently, both sides of the bank have embankments to make it more secure, and at the same time, a railing higher than 1.5 meters has been installed. The project has changed the outlook of Hồ Chí Minh City in general and Bình Tân district in particular.

Lê Lợi street in District 1 is expected to reopen on the historic occasion of 30 April. Since mid-2014, most of Lê Lợi street and the section from Đồng Khởi street to Pasteur street, has been fenced off by contractors to complete the construction of the Hồ Chí Minh City Opera House underground station. Currently, the contractor of Metro Line 1 is making efforts to fill the land and speed up the progress to promptly return the ground back to the Department of Planning and Architecture. Lê Lợi street will become a future highlight and a busy commercial street that will attract many tourists and residents.

Great projects underway

During the month of April, the Government has proposed to the National Assembly to approve a number of specific mechanisms for the Ring Road 3 project in Hồ Chí Minh City to meet the completion schedule by 2026. On the basis of a pre-feasibility study report for the project under Ring Road 3 of the Ministry of Planning and Investment, the National Assembly will consider and approve the project investment policy at the next meeting in May.

Ring Road 3 covers 76.34 kms with the starting point in Nhơn Trạch district in Đồng Nai province, and the endpoint in Bến Lức district in Long An province. The section through Hồ Chí Minh City is 47.51 kms in length, in Đồng Nai it covers 11.26 kms, in Bình Dương it covers 10.76 kms, and in Long An it covers 6.81 kms. The total investment in phase 1 of Ring Road 3 will be VND 75,378 bn, in which land acquisition and resettlement costs account for VND 43,589 bn, and construction and equipment costs are around VND 25,945 bn.

The expected progress from 2022 until project preparation will be site clearance for resettlement until 2024, with the project starting at the end of 2023 and completing in 2026, with a final settlement in 2027. According to the Government, the investment in Ring Road 3 in Hồ Chí Minh City is very necessary and urgent. Specifically, the project has the role of linking regions, promoting urbanization, creating momentum and spillover, and promoting socio-economic development of the localities, as well as the whole country. In particular, the project will also contribute to reducing pressure on the inner city of Hồ Chí Minh City and will limit traffic congestion in the area to a great extent.

The Ring Road 3 project is located in Hồ Chí Minh City and Tây Ninh province, starting from Ring Road 3 in Củ Chi district which is the route parallel to the existing National Highway 22. The last section connects to National Highway 22, and the Mộc Bài border gate area. The route will have eight lanes, and the remaining section in Tây Ninh province will have six lanes. The length of the entire expressway is 50 kms, of which the section through Hồ Chí Minh City is 23.7 kms in length. In phase-1, the project cost will amount to around VND 15,900 bn.

According to the People's Committee of Hồ Chí Minh City, the above project aims to meet travel and freight needs and reduce the load on National Highway 22. This will be a Trans-Asia traffic route, connecting economic centers, border-gate economic zones, and urban centers of the Southern key economic region with seaports, international airports, and the ASEAN economic region.