Speedboats to Long Thanh Airport proposed to counter traffic

By Gia Minh   June 11, 2024 | 04:53 pm PT
Speedboats to Long Thanh Airport proposed to counter traffic
A speedboat carries passengers from HCMC to Con Dao. Photo by VnExpress/Quynh Tran
The Ho Chi Minh City Transport Department has proposed using speedboats to transport passengers to the new Long Thanh Airport to ease traffic problems and create new tourism opportunities.

The proposal, which the department is soliciting opinions on, could improve connectivity with Dong Nai’s Long Thanh Airport from neighboring HCMC, without clogging the already-congested roads leading to the new facility.

The long-delayed airport project, slated to be Vietnam's largest, is expected to be completed and open for business in 2026.

The department has outlined three options for its new waterway connectivity plan.

The first option would be the creation of a direct transportation route that carries passengers via speedboats from Bach Dang Port in HCMC's District 1 to the SwanBay cruise ship port in Dong Nai's Nhon Trach. The route spans over 22 km, and it would take 35-45 minutes to travel its length. From the SwanBay area, people would travel to the airport on existing old roads.

The second option would entail investing in major river crossing terminals. HCMC and Dong Nai would upgrade the Phu Xuan-Phuoc Khanh port on the Soai Rap River to improve connectivity between the Nha Be area to Nhon Trach District. After crossing the river, people would travel on the newer Pham Thai Buong and DT.769D roads, which could have them reach the air terminal in 40-45 minutes over a 25 km distance.

The third option would be to increase capacity at the Cat Lai Port, which connects Thu Duc City with Nhon Trach District via ferry systems. This way, people in eastern HCMC would find it easier to get to Long Thanh Airport while they wait for the Cat Lai Bridge to be constructed. To carry out this plan, Cat Lai Port would be upgraded and the number of ferries would be increased to meet heightened demand.

Besides increased waterway connectivity, the Ministry of Transport is also looking into expanding the HCMC-Long Thanh-Dau Giay Expressway to meet travel demands once the Long Thanh Airport opens in two years.

HCMC and Dong Nai are separated by four rivers: Dong Nai, Long Tau, Dong Tranh and Thi Vai. Traffic between the two localities is mainly via three main roads: National Highway 1, National Highway 1L and the Long Thanh Expressway. However, these routes are overloaded.

Current plans to ease the burden envision the construction of new bridges to connect the two localities. Two of the bridges are already under construction.

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