Defense Ministry urged haste in handing over land for Saigon bridge

By Huu Cong    August 2, 2018 | 11:56 pm PT
Defense Ministry urged haste in handing over land for Saigon bridge
The Thu Thiem Bridge 2 over the Saigon River connects District 1 with District 2.
HCMC has called on the Defense Ministry to speed up handover of land for building a key bridge over the Saigon River.

City officials have urged the ministry to duly instruct the Ba Son Corporation and Navy Command Zone 2 on the handover, so that construction of the Thu Thiem Bridge 2 can be completed on schedule.

Reviewing progress of the $2.2-billion Thu Thiem Eco Smart City project, municipal Chairman Nguyen Thanh Phong also asked relevant agencies to fix compensation rates for land to be acquired for building the bridge over the Saigon River, connecting Districts 1 and 2.

Work on the VND4.26 trillion ($188.4 million) bridge, an important component of the Thu Thiem Eco Smart City project, began in early 2015 and was slated for completion this year on April 30, Reunification Day.

The components of the work spanning from Thu Thiem New Urban Area to mid-Saigon River have been completed. But the parts in District 1 are facing delays since some of the required land belongs to the Ministry of Defense.

In a related development, the chairman instructed the city’s Department of Planning and Investment to publicize information about the Thu Thiem 4 Bridge, another component of the Thu Thiem Eco Smart City, paving the way for pre-feasibility studies.

The VND5.2 trillion ($230 million) bridge between Districts 2 and 7, also over the Saigon River, will be built by a public-private partnership (PPP).

Phong also gave a two-month extension to Dai Quang Minh Real Estate Investment JSC for preparing a proposal to construct a pedestrian bridge over the Saigon River under the build-transfer (BT) format. The company has to submit at least three designs for the bridge, he said.

The municipal chairman approved a proposal by the city’s Architecture and Planning Council on redesigning the 2A Functional Zone in the Thu Thiem Eco Smart City. The new design will turn two separate blocks in lots 2-5 into one single tower consisting of 50-60 floors at the most.

Coming up in District 2 on the eastern side of the Saigon River, the 657-ha Thu Thiem Eco Smart City is envisioned as an iconic urban development project in Southeast Asia.

It will have an international trading-financial-banking centre, hotels, serviced apartments, offices, and multifunctional condos, and the 50-60-storied building will be one of its highlights.

The city has licensed a consortium of seven South Korean and Japanese companies to develop the $2.2 billion smart city project.

Five bridges and a tunnel are planned to connect the new eco-smart city with the rest of HCMC. The Thu Thiem 1 Bridge and the tunnel connecting Districts 1 and 2 have already opened to traffic.

Around 99 per cent of land acquisition for the project is complete. But more than 100 people have refused to give up their land and petitioned the administration, saying their lands do not lie in the project area.

The Government Inspectorate was expected to announce its verdict on the petition by July 15, but it has not done so.

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