HCMC to spend $526 million improving waterways, regional connectivity

By Huu Cong   April 22, 2021 | 01:25 am PT
HCMC to spend $526 million improving waterways, regional connectivity
An Phu Intersection in Thu Duc City, HCMC, April 2021. Photo by VnExpress/Quynh Tran.
Ho Chi Minh City will spend over VND12.1 trillion ($526.4 million) of its own and from the central budget on two major traffic infrastructure projects until 2025.

The city People's Council at a meeting Thursday approved the investment policy for two projects, one to develop An Phu Intersection in Thu Duc City to tackle chronic traffic jams in the area, and the other to renovate Tham Luong-Ben Cat-Nuoc Len Canal to mitigate urban flooding and improve waterway transport.

As approved, the two projects would be carried out using the state budget allocated by the government and counter capital of the city.

Estimated to cost VND3.926 trillion ($170.4 million), An Phu Intersection will be developed using VND1.8 trillion from the central budget, and the rest from the city to stop frequent traffic jams at the intersection, which connects Mai Chi Tho Street in District 2 and HCMC-Long Thanh-Dau Giay Expressway, a major link between the city and neighboring Dong Nai Province.

The intersection, as designed, will have three levels - a tunnel linking the expressway with Mai Chi Tho Street and two overpasses. Once complete, it is also expected to boost connectivity to the expressway, which the Transport Ministry would widen from the current four to eight or 10 lanes.

Renovation of the Tham Luong-Ben Cat-Nuoc Len canal system is calculated to cost VND8.2 trillion ($356 million), including VND6.4 trillion for dredging and upgrades, VND718 billion for acquiring and clearing land and the rest for incidental expenses.

The central state budget will offer VND4 trillion for the canal project and HCMC the rest.

Upgrades will include items to build concrete embankments and roads that run 33 kilometers (20.5 miles) along the canal, dredging the entire water body, rebuilding or repairing sewer systems, and building 12 docks.

It would improve drainage and prevent flooding in the seven districts of 12, Binh Tan, Tan Phu, Tan Binh, Go Vap, Binh Thanh, and Binh Chanh, and would also help improve waterway transport between HCMC and the Mekong Delta as well as two of its neighboring provinces, Binh Duong and Dong Nai, easing traffic jams on a number of highways.

Both projects will be carried out in the 2021-2025 period.

The city’s executive body, or People’s Committee, had last year written to the Ministry of Planning and Investment, asking for the state fund to support the two projects, the government having recently given the nod.

HCMC, home to 13 million people, has struggled with heavy traffic congestion and severe flooding for decades.

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