Sluggish Hanoi metro defers Line 3 launch to 2023

By Ba Do   June 6, 2018 | 06:25 pm PT
Sluggish Hanoi metro defers Line 3 launch to 2023
Vehicles run under the Metro Line 3 under construction in Hanoi. Photo by VnExpress/Ba Do
Land clearance issues blamed for latest in a long line of delays in opening Nhon-Hanoi Station line.

Hanoi's long-delayed Metro Line 3 is likely to suffer further delay, and its launch pushed back to early 2023, the project's management board said Wednesday.

The line, which runs from Nhon in the city's western suburbs to Hanoi Railway Station, was previously scheduled to be completed in the fourth quarter of 2022.

The board said only 43 percent of the work has been completed so far.

Slow progress on the line's underground segment makes it difficult to meet the 2022 deadline, according to the Hanoi Metropolitan Railway Management Board (MRB), the project investor.

In the four months since work on this segment began, workers have only managed to put up traffic diversion barriers around the sites for stations S9 and S10, the board said.

Issues with land clearance, which involve clearing out hundreds of decades-old trees along the metro line, have meant that work has not begun on the tunnel or underground stations on the line.

On the other hand, 83 percent of work has been completed on the line's elevated segment, the elevated stations are over 53 percent completed and 6-11 percent of equipment-related work has been done.

The MRB has proposed that the city puts the line's elevated segment, which runs 8.5 kilometers (5.3 miles) from Nhon to Cau Giay with eight stations, to use from the fourth quarter of 2020 while waiting for the underground segment to be completed.

A total of about 1,000 workers are working around the clock to speed up the construction of the line, according to project consultant SYSTRA, a French firm.

The Metro Line 3, which runs 12.5 kilometers including four kilometers underground, is one of several planned for the capital city. It will be part of a rail network that aims to ease traffic congestion and reduce emissions.

Work on the line first began in 2010, with the cost originally estimated at $1.2 billion and operations scheduled to start in 2017. Subsequent delays have pushed the cost estimates up to nearly $1.6 billion.

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