HCM CITY — Deputy Prime Minister Hoang Trung Hai broke ground on Saturday for the Sai Gon Bridge No 2 between HCM City's Districts 2 and Binh Thanh.
|A blueprint of Sai Gon Bridge No 2, which will cost nearly VND1.5 trillion (US$71.5 million) to build. — VNA/VNS Photo The Anh
The 987.3m-long, 23.5m-wide, four-lane bridge will come up just a few metres from the existing Sai Gon Bridge No 1 and will have a lifespan of 100 years.
Construction of the VND1.5 trillion (US$71.5 million) bridge is expected to take 21 months, according to the HCM City Infrastructure Investment Joint Stock Co, the builder.
The BT (build-transfer) project is expected to ease traffic on the existing bridge, which has been in operation for nearly five decades, while also unclogging the city's north-eastern entrance.
"Sai Gon Bridge No 2 meets HCM City's need to perfect its infrastructure," Hai said.
He noted one major difference between the two bridges – the former was built abroad (before being installed in Viet Nam) while the latter is 100 per cent Vietnamese.
"The project shows the great efforts made by HCM City to mobilise capital from various [non-State] sectors into infrastructure development."
Le Hoang Quan, Chairman of the city People's Committee, said building Sai Gon Bridge No 2 was an urgent task since the existing bridge was constantly overloaded.
He called it one of HCM City's major transport infrastructure projects in 2012.
It follows 10 other major projects completed last year.
"These projects, including the Thu Thiem Tunnel under the Sai Gon River and Vo Van Kiet Highway, have significantly improved infrastructure as well as residents' living standards."
More major infrastructure works will be undertaken by the city including Thu Thiem Bridge No 2, Thu Duc Intersection, and Binh Tien Bridge — VNS