|A car travels along a stretch of HCM City - Long Thanh - Dau Giay Expressway, the building of which aims to reduce traffic congestion in the city. The Ministry of Transport plans to urge investors to speed up transport projects in the city. — VNA/VNS Photo Hoang Hai
HCM CITY (VNS) — Road and bridge construction projects that were completed in 2013 have helped to significantly decrease traffic congestion in Ha Noi and HCM City, according to the Ministry of Transport.
"This year, the ministry will continue to implement comprehensive solutions to reduce traffic jams in Ha Noi and HCM City," Deputy Transport Minister Le Dinh Tho told Nguoi Lao Dong (Labourer) newspaper recently.
This year, the ministry will urge investors to speed up all transport projects, he added.
"We will finish 58 projects and begin 35 others," Tho said.
Many projects are scheduled to either start or continue this year, including the expansion of National Highway 1 and Ho Chi Minh Highway through Central Highlands provinces.
Other highway projects include: Ha Noi – Thai Nguyen, Noi Bai – Lao Cai, Ha Noi – Hai Phong, Da Nang – Quang Ngai, HCM City – Long Thanh – Dau Giay and Ben Luc – Long Thanh.
The Vinh Thinh bridge (Vinh Phuc – Ha Noi), Nhat Tan bridge, and a connecting road to Noi Bai international airport will also be built this year.
In 2013, the ministry completed 46 projects and began construction on 78 others. In addition, 800km of national highway and 5km of bridge were upgraded.
"2013 was the year that we improved management, and there were no more delays in construction. Many projects were completed earlier than expected," Tho said.
A series of new and modern roads have not only reduced congestion but also the cut the number of traffic accidents.
For example, the HCM City – Long Thanh – Dau Giay highway has reduced trips by 40 minutes. The time for travel between HCM City and Vung Tau is now only 1.5 hours instead of the previous 2.5 hours.
The new National Highway 3 with nearly 64km has reduced travel time from Ha Noi to Thai Nguyen Province to one hour and 20 minutes instead of three hours.
Last year, in an effort to reduce traffic jams, the ministry closely worked with local authorities, especially in Ha Noi and HCM City, to speed up important transport projects, including a flyover.
Ha Noi has completed seven flyovers and HCM City five. All of them are located in areas that once had regular traffic jams.
Other places for flyovers are also being proposed. Ha Noi will build three at the Buoi – Cau Giay inter-section and HCM City will build one at the Go Vap cross-roads.
Thanks to such construction, the traffic situation in Ha Noi and HCM City has improved, particularly compared to 2011.
Areas that regularly experienced traffic jams fell to 46 per cent in Ha Noi and nearly 37 per cent in HCM City. The length of traffic jams also declined, Tho said.
New city roads
With many more roads and bridges due to be completed this year, HCM City hopes to improve traffic congestion as well as ensure smoother connectivity with its neighbouring provinces, according Vuong Hoang Thanh, deputy director of the HCM City Urban Upgrade Construction and Investment Management Board.
Of the many traffic projects to be completed this year, four bridges are to be demolished and rebuilt, including Bong, Kieu, Le Van Sy and Hau Giang bridges.
The bridges play an important role in ensuring the smooth flow of traffic in HCM City, Thanh said.
Rebuilding the four bridges will cost some US$30 million, which has been sourced from the World Bank ODA loans, so they must be completed before October, he added.
The projects are on target to meet the deadline, he said, adding the developers are currently speeding up their projects in order to comply with the schedule.
In addition to the bridges, the entire of the Tan Son Nhat-Binh Loi-Outer Ring Road or Pham Van Dong Road is expected to be finished by the end of this year.
The 13.6km road has 6-12 lanes, and passes through four districts: Thu Duc, Binh Thanh, Go Vap and Tan Binh. It starts at Tan Son Nhat international airport in Tan Binh District and ends at Linh Xuan intersection in Thu Duc District.
The road has 13 crossroads and four large bridges, including Binh Loi, Rach Lang, Go Dua and a flyover passing over National Road 13.
The project, which was invested in by the GS Engineering and Construction Corporation, has received a total investment capital of nearly $500 million and is being constructed under the B-T (build-transfer) model.
The road is one of the four outer ring-roads which are part of the city's traffic planning until 2020, and plays an important role in connecting traffic between HCM City and the southeast provinces. — VNS