Dong Nai fails to clear site for new bridge to HCMC

By Phuoc Tuan, Gia Minh   June 25, 2023 | 11:40 pm PT
Dong Nai fails to clear site for new bridge to HCMC
The construction site of Nhon Trach Bridge on the side of Dong Nai Province, May 2023. Photo by VnExpress/Phuoc Tuan
The third bridge to link HCMC with the industrial hub of Dong Nai is likely to fall behind schedule, having no clear site for construction yet.

Nhon Trach Bridge crossing the Dong Nai River is slated for completion in September 2025, after construction started last September.

Costing VND1.8 trillion (US$77 million) from the state budget, the bridge is 2.6 km long and 19.5 m wide, while leading roads from both sides stretch 5.6 km in total.

The bridge is about one-third complete so far.

However, project managers from the Ministry of Transport's My Thuan Project Management Board said progress has been interrupted by the site clearance process on the Dong Nai Province side.

Ho Chi Minh City has handed over all the required land, but in Dong Nai’s Nhon Trach District, the contractor has received just 21% of the 49 hectares needed.

"The site clearance process in Dong Nai is six months late compared to the plan," said Tran Van Thi, director of the My Thuan board.

In a letter sent recently to the board, the contractor, South Korean Kumho Engineering & Construction Co., Ltd., said Nhon Trach Bridge was a large-scale project with high technical requirements.

With the construction time set for three years, the site clearance must have been ready since last September, it said.

Now with the late site clearance, the contractor said it would not take any responsibilities if the project fell behind schedule.

According to Nhon Trach’s authorities, the project affected 468 families and the district has just finished relocating and compensating 49 of them.

The district's government said the main problem was determining the land price for compensation and that it was coordinating with consultants to clear the site and ensure benefits for the people as soon as possible.

A representative from the district’s Land Fund Development Center, who wants to stay anonymous, said the entire process will not be completed until September.

Nhon Trach Bridge is part of HCMC’s Ring Road No.3 project.

Currently, just two bridges, Dong Nai and Long Thanh, are open to traffic across the Dong Nai River, which forms a natural border between HCMC and Dong Nai Province.

The road leading to the bridge on the HCMC side will connect with the HCMC – Long Thanh – Dau Giay Expressway, which connects HCMC and Dong Nai and also links to the Dau Giay – Phan Thiet Expressway, which runs to the beach town of Phan Thiet in the central region.

Ring Road No.3, which is under construction, will run more than 90 km (56 miles), including 8.2 km in HCMC. It will also pass through Binh Duong, Long An and Dong Nai provinces, all industrial hubs.

HCMC and its neighbors agree that the ring road is necessary to tackle chronic traffic jams in several areas.

When finished, the ring road will have eight lanes allowing vehicles to travel at 100 kph.

The road is expected to cost a total of US$3.2 billion, with funding coming from the government and Official Development Assistance loans.

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