Tree chopping spree continues for Saigon's first metro line

By Huu Cong   October 3, 2016 | 07:00 pm GMT+7
Tree chopping spree continues for Saigon's first metro line
Many trees on Le Loi Street in downtown HCMC will be felled and removed. Photo by VnExpress/Huu Cong

The traffic circle in front of Ben Thanh Market and Le Loi Street will be fenced off for construction work.

Ho Chi Minh City is going to fell down 24 trees and move 51 others in District 1 this month to give space to its first subway project.

Managers of the project said the trees on Le Loi Street and the September 23rd Park will be cleared for construction of the underground section between Ben Thanh Market and the Opera House.

They said all of the trees to be cut down are "in bad conditions" while the others can be replanted elsewhere.

Work is set to start next month and is expected to last through 2020, the year when the whole line is scheduled for completion.

Barriers will be set up around the traffic circle in front of Ben Thanh Market and along Le Loi, one of the main shopping streets in the city downtown, from October 15 to serve the construction.

Construction of the subway system’s first line, running around 20 kilometers from Ben Thanh in District 1 and Suoi Tien in District 9, began in 2012. The line is estimated to cost $2.49 billion.

The city in March announced a plan to move and cut down 300 trees along Ton Duc Thang Street, also in District 1, to make way for a metro station as well as a bridge going out to District 2.

Many city dwellers were upset when the city denuded the heart of District 1 of many trees in July 2014 for a project to upgrade Nguyen Hue into a pedestrian-only street and build the first underground station near the Opera House.

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