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Saigon street breathes after metro construction site cleared

By Quynh Tran   August 14, 2022 | 06:40 pm PT
After eight years, Le Loi Street, which used to be one of the busiest in HCMC downtown, is being cleared of a construction site serving the city's first metro line.
Saigon street breathes after metro construction site cleared

A 800-meter section of Le Loi Street from Nguyen Hue Pedestrian Zone to Ben Thanh Market is cleared of barriers on Aug. 12.

The street has been blocked since mid-2014 to build Ben Thanh Station, one of the three underground hubs of the Metro Line No.1.

The station, at about 32 meters underground, has four floors with six entrances and is now more than 95 percent complete.

Saigon street breathes after metro construction site cleared

The street has been resurfaced with 10 lanes.

Saigon street breathes after metro construction site cleared

Barriers are removed from a 250-meter section near Ben Thanh Market.

Saigon street breathes after metro construction site cleared

Workers repair the street in front of Ben Thanh Market.

The city is also working on a plan to resume the roundabout in front of the market, one of its top tourist attractions and cultural icons.

Saigon street breathes after metro construction site cleared

The lighting system is established on Le Loi Street on Aug. 11.

Saigon street breathes after metro construction site cleared

Nguyen Ngoc Quy, 52, paves the sidewalk near the Le Loi – Pasteur intersection on Aug. 12.

His group is tasked with finishing the work before the National Day holiday on Sep. 2.

Saigon street breathes after metro construction site cleared

Hung, owner of a house on Le Loi Street, renovates its facade to resume the family coffee shop.

"Hopefully, after years of being blocked, our business will flourish in the coming time," Hung said as he shovels sand into a bag.

Saigon street breathes after metro construction site cleared

Standing in Alley No.36, Van watches as workers repair the sidewalk on Le Loi Street.

Running a coffee shop in the alley, she said business has been slow in the past few years.

"I've been counting every day on construction work to finish so the street could return to normal," said Van.

Saigon street breathes after metro construction site cleared

Plants are grown on the median along the reopened Le Loi Street.

Saigon street breathes after metro construction site cleared

Foreign tourists walk along Le Loi Street on Aug. 12.

Saigon street breathes after metro construction site cleared

A man rides a bicycle along Le Loi Street in front of the Opera House.

Set to cost over VND43.7 trillion ($1.89 billion), HCMC's first metro line will run around 20 kilometers from near Ben Thanh Market in District 1 to Long Binh Depot in Thu Duc, have three underground stations, and 11 on the surface.

After several delays, the line is now more than 90 percent complete and set to be up and running at the end of 2023.

Saigon downtown shopkeepers await reopening as metro construction site cleared. Video by Tuan Viet

 
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