Square proposed outside HCMC's Ben Thanh Market

By Gia Minh   July 19, 2022 | 10:00 pm PT
Square proposed outside HCMC's Ben Thanh Market
Ben Thanh Market with the roundabout square in front of it replaced by metro construction site, September 2019. Photo by VnExpress/Quynh Tran
The HCMC Department of Planning and Architecture has suggested building a public square in front of Ben Thanh Market once the metro construction site there is cleared.

It will have a park where the statues of Quach Thi Trang, a student who died in a protest against the Saigon regime during the Vietnam War, and Tran Nguyen Han, a military expert who helped Vietnam ward off Chinese invasions in the 15th century, will be reinstalled.

Traffic on several busy streets such as Le Loi and Tran Hung Dao would have to be rerouted to accommodate the square, the department said.

The purpose of the plan is to reclaim a public space now that the construction of the metro station is almost complete.

In 2017 the Quach Thi Trang Roundabout in front of the market, for long an icon of Ho Chi Minh City, was demolished for building the Ben Thanh station on metro line No.1.

Trang and Han's statues that had been there were earlier removed and installed elsewhere in the city.

But the square is only one of three proposals by the department to reclaim the space in a proposal it submitted Tuesday to the city government.

Another is for rebuilding the roundabout based on its original design, and the third is to also have an underground space below the roundabout connected with another planned under the nearby September 23 park.

In June the city administration had sought plans from the department to reclaim the space with the two statues reinstalled.

According to the HCMC Management Authority for Urban Railways, the Ben Thanh metro station is "basically" complete, and the construction site will be cleared by September.

The four-level station, which goes 32 meters below ground and is 236 meters long, is one of three below ground on the 19.7-km metro line from Ben Thanh to Suoi Tien theme park in Thu Duc City.

The others are the Opera House and Ba Son stations.

The much-delayed line is more than 90 percent complete and commercial operation is expected to start late next year.

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