Two major projects on way to finish line in HCMC

After a period of construction in moderation and even halt because of capital disbursement difficulties, two particularly important projects in HCMC have been restarted and on the way to the finish line comprising Ben Thanh-Suoi Tien metro line and VND10 trillion (US$429.78 million) anti-flooding project.

The above ground stretch of Ben Thanh-Suoi Tien metro line (Photo: SGGP)
The above ground stretch of Ben Thanh-Suoi Tien metro line (Photo: SGGP)

According to head of the Urban Railway Management Board (MAUR) Bui Xuan Cuong, the board sets a target of increasing the project progress by 18 percent to reach 80 percent from now until the end of this year. Problems hindering the project have been solved for the route to function by the end of 2020 as per schedule. At the depth of 30 meters under the ground, groups of workers and engineers have concreted the bottom floor of Ben Thanh depot and constructed the underground section in Le Loi street.

At this time, the above ground stretch of the project has basically been done alongside Hanoi Highway. The stretch starts from Ba Son station, runs along Van Thanh canal to reach Dien Bien Phu street before crossing the Saigon River to travel on the side of the Hanoi Highway and enter Suoi Tien depot and the maintenance station in District 9.

Along the 17.1 kilometers above the ground, tens of workers and engineers have been installing two rail tracks for trains to travel from Suoi Tien depot to the downtown city and vice versa.

So far, 6,000 meters of the track have been installed and 2,700 meters of cement floor in the track sections from Phuoc Long to Thu Duc station have been built. In the 22 hectare area of Long Binh depot and maintenance station in HCMC’s District 9 and Binh Duong province, construction of the raw part of the building meant for the metro route’s operation control center (OCC) has been done. The center is the place where engineers will operate trains in the route. According plan, construction sides will install operation equipment and camera system at the center in 2019 and 2020.

The operation control center comprises a parking site able to accommodate 32 six-coach trains. The repair and maintenance center has gradually been built over the area of 21,560 square meters.

The first metro line project has the total length of 19.7 kilometers and investment capital of VND47,325 billion (US$2.03 billion).

Currently, MAUR together with contractors have focused on solutions to speed up the project and build it by 2020. Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) said that it would continue financing metro line no.3a, Ben Thanh-Tan Kien, if the first metro line is built on schedule.

Head of MAUR Bui Xuan Cuong said that many countries wanted to invest in the remaining metro lines in HCMC. Specifically, Export-Import Bank of Korea’s representative said that they have US$825 million to finance HCMC’s metro lines no.4 and 5. Meantime, Asian Development Bank is willing to provide US$900 million for the second metro route. German Development Bank (KfW) agreed to provide non-refundable aid worth EUR6 million for the second metro line.

Anti-flooding project

After eight months of construction halt, the VND10 trillion (US$429.77 million) anti-flooding project has restarted since early March this year. The investor said that the project will be built and put into operation in the first quarter next year at the latest.

Aiming to tackle flooding for an area covering 570 square kilometers in HCMC, the project was initially expected to be done on April 30, 2018 but it has been behind schedule because of procedure problems. In January this year, the People’s Committee of HCMC urged relevant sides to solve the problems to restart the project as soon as they could.

Director of investor Trung Nam Company Mr. Nguyen Tam Tien said that 80 percent of the work volume has nearly been built. Main items of tidal control sewers have taken shape.

The project has resumed construction after nearly one year halt thanks to drastic actions from the city People’s Committee, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, the Ministry of Planning and Investment to clear difficulties, said Mr. Tam Tien.

If the city hands over the premise in June this year, the company will make efforts to complete the entire project by the end of this year or the first quarter next year at the latest.

Many times working with the investor, deputy chairman of the city People’s Committee Tran Vinh Tuyen said that is a major project relating to the life of 65 million residents in the city so HCMC would closely work with the investor to solve difficulties in order to put it into operation as soon as possible.