HCMC to hollow out downtown street

By Gia Minh   April 14, 2022 | 06:00 am PT
HCMC to hollow out downtown street
Ton Duc Thang Street along Bach Dang Wharf Park next to the Saigon River in January 2022. Photo by VnExpress/Quynh Tran
Roads and a parking lot will be built beneath Ton Duc Thang Street along the Saigon River as planned by Ho Chi Minh City developers.

Stretching two kilometers in District 1, Ton Duc Thang is one of the five oldest and biggest streets in HCMC.

The street crossing Nguyen Hue Pedestrian Street runs along Bach Dang Wharf Park, and is one of the main paths connecting the downtown area with District 4 and the city’s southern part.

According to a plan approved recently by the city administration, the street section of nearly one kilometer along Bach Dang Park will have two underground floors, with two-way streets and a parking lot that can serve around 300 vehicles.

A walking route will be built to run from the parking lot to Me Linh roundabout, where an underground space has also been planned. According to another plan by the municipal Department of Planning and Architecture, the underground area under the roundabout would have a garden, surrounded by coffee shops, restaurants, and retail stores.

With traffic sent underground, the surface of Ton Duc Thang Street along Bach Dang Park will be for pedestrians only.

Nguyen Anh Tuan, head of the department's general planning management agency, said "building the underground space would allow the city to expand the space of Bach Dang Park, creating a public area beside the Saigon River."

Hoang Ngoc Lan, a lecturer at the University of Architecture HCMC, said the plan to build the underground space for Ton Duc Thang Street is "reasonable and right on time," given that downtown HCMC lacks public space.

In January, Bach Dang Wharf Park was reopened to the public following a renovation project launched last April.

Since then, the park has lured many visitors but as it is separated from Nguyen Hue Pedestrian Street by Ton Duc Thang Street, pedestrians have been facing difficulties moving from Nguyen Hue to Bach Dang and vice versa.

"If that section of Ton Duc Thang is equipped with an underground space for traffic, then the area on the surface could be combined with Nguyen Hue Pedestrian Street and Bach Dang Park to become an attractive public space where the city can organize firework displays or concerts," said Lan.

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