Major traffic projects accelerate to finish in HCMC

In spite of practicing social distancing to prevent the Covid-19 pandemic from further spreading; major traffic infrastructure projects in HCMC have been under construction with all officials, workers and contractors trying to not only ensure anti-pandemic requirements according to the Ministry of Health’s guidelines but also build these projects on schedule.
Under-construction Thu Thiem 2 Bridge in HCMC (Photo SGGP)
Under-construction Thu Thiem 2 Bridge in HCMC (Photo SGGP)

On the construction site of Ben Thanh-Suoi Tien metro line, one of the most important projects in HCMC, construction units strictly abide by anti-pandemic measures such as wearing face masks and checking body temperatures. Before working hours, they always remind workers of protecting themselves, preventing the pandemic at home and limiting contact with others outside their houses.

These days, on the construction site of the bid package CP1b building the station at the Saigon Opera House, workers and engineers have completed the last items. They are about to remove the roadwork in front of the theatre and restore the road face before handing over the site to the HCMC Urban Railway Management Board (MAUR) for relevant sides to complete the park design in the area.

In the basement of the station, which is one out of two underground stations in the bid package, workers have been rushing to pave and tile the floor, walls, ceiling and pillars as well as install the escalator system.

According to MAUR, more than 70 percent of the project’s volume of work has been done. The board is striving to increase the ratio to 85 percent at the end of this year and prepare human resources especially train drivers and workers to function auxiliary works connecting with the metro line. That aims to start pilot operation of the metro line right after being built.

Another project which is Thu Thiem 2 Bridge is nearly completed. It expected to fully done this yearend.

Mien Dong (Eastern) Coach Station is one of the urgent major projects of the city. The work is expected to serve over seven million passengers a year or about 21,000 passengers a day. The number of passengers may reach 52,000 a day during peak time such as Tet holiday. The project aims at tackling the permanent traffic jam in roads surrounding the existing Mien Dong Coach Station in Binh Thanh District.

The Transport Department has set a target of putting the new station into operation in June this year. The Management Board on Traffic Works Construction Investment of HCMC is speeding up other works such as the tunnel and the pedestrian bridge in the area to link the station up to National Highway 1A.

Construction has been resumed in An Suong Tunnel project after one year of halt due to site clearance. The tunnel is scheduled to open to traffic on May 30 to ease traffic congestion in the area. The project started construction in January, 2017 with the total capital of VND514 billion (US$21.89 million).

Director of the Management Board on Traffic Works Construction Investment Luong Minh Phuc said that they are trying to maintain construction of projects starting before the pandemic. New bid packages are expected to start after April 15 or until there will be new announcement.

The board plans to start work on the tunnel and the roundabout at Nguyen Van Linh-Nguyen Huu Tho intersection after April 15. This project was initially approved by the Transport Department of HCMC in 2017-2018 with the total funds of VND830 billion (US$35.35 million) from the city budget. Still the approval process of funding plan and bidding plan to select contractors met with problems, hence the project was later transferred to the management board.

The project is predicted to be built in the second quarter if everything is on schedule. In Cat Lai area, Nguyen Duy Trinh Street and Dong Van Cong Street will be expanded, the second phase of My Thuy Intersection will be constructed and An Phu Intersection in District 2 will be invested.

This year the city plans to complete 29 projects and start construction of 27 new traffic infrastructure projects.

For the last past, the city has upgraded many streets and bridges namely Pham Van Chi Bridge in District 6, Kenh Te Bridge connecting District 4 and 7, Chu Y (Y-shaped) Bridge and Nguyen Tri Phuong Bridge linking District 5 up to District 8, Tan Ky-Tan Quy Bridge connecting Tan Phu and Binh Tan District.