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HCM City opens new bridge   2010-02-01 - Viet Nam News

Thu Thiem Bridge, one of HCM City's key infrastructure projects, was officially opened to traffic yesterday, January 31, linking Binh Thanh District and District 2.

HCM City's Thu Thiem Bridge opens to traffic. The bridge spans the Sai Gon River, linking Binh Thanh District and District 2.
HCM City's Thu Thiem Bridge opens to traffic. The bridge spans the Sai Gon River, linking Binh Thanh District and District 2.
Spanning the Sai Gon River, the 1.25km-long bridge links the East-West Highway which runs from Ha Noi Highway to the Mekong provinces and Nguyen Huu Canh Street running from Binh Thanh to downtown HCM City.

The approach road in Binh Thanh District has three two-lane entrances, while the District 2 end has two entrances with six lanes. Construction of the bridge also included a tunnel to ensure traffic along Nguyen Huu Canh Street.

With a 10m-high span for ships to travel underneath, and an ability to withstand collision with ships of 200 DWT and barges of 500 DWT, the bridge is designed to be operational for at least 100 years.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, Deputy Minister of Transport Ngo Thinh Duc said the bridge would facilitate the development of the Thu Thiem area in District 2, and was of significance in the socio-economic development of HCM City.

The 737ha Thu Thiem area is one of the satellite cities to be developed in Binh Thanh District under a plan recently approved by the Prime Minister.

"The bridge will ease the city's traffic congestion and help co-ordinate the city's traffic infrastructure as well," said Deputy Minister of Construction Bui Pham Khanh.

Nearly VND1.5 billion (US$79.6 billion) was allocated from the State budget for the project, and 295 households had to be relocated for construction of the approach roads in the two districts.

Construction began in 2005. The main bridge opened for traffic in January 2008 and the tunnel became operational last December.

New road

A new 10.2km highway linking downtown HCM City with southern areas in District 7 was also opened to traffic on Saturday.

Running from Nguyen Van Linh Street to the port in Hiep Phuoc Industrial Park, the road will facilitate transportation to Hiep Phuoc and is expected to boost operations of the park.

Nguyen Xuan Bang, director of the Urban Transportation Management Unit No 4, said the new 10-lane highway would also pave the way for the socio-economic development of the southern areas of District 7 and Can Gio District, as well as help expand HCM City to the East Sea.

Before the road was completed, construction of bridges on the highway had been completed at Ba Chiem, Phuoc Kieng and Rach Dia.

The entire project cost VND1.2 trillion (US$64.8 million), with capital coming from the Urban Transportation Management Unit No 4 and the Tan Thuan Industrial Development Co.

Addressing the opening ceremony, Minister of Transport Ho Nghia Dung said the North-South Highway would contribute to the development of the infrastructure networks in HCM City. He urged proper management of the roadways to ensure public safety and said that poor level of development of the country's infrastructure facilities was a major concern of the Vietnamese people.

"Therefore, the Government has recognised infrastructure development as a breakthrough in the socio-economic development of the nation, and of major cities such as HCM City in particular," said Dung.

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