|The Thu Thiem Tunnel was built under the Sai Gon River to link HCM City's downtown area in District 1 with the Thu Thiem Urban Area in District 2. City authorities hope Thu Thiem will become a most beautiful urban area in Southeast Asia by 2025. — VNA/VNS Photo Hoang Hai
HCM CITY (VNS) — The new urban area of Thu Thiem in HCM City's District 2 will become one of the most beautiful urban areas in Southeast Asia by 2025, the deputy head of Thu Thiem Urban Area Management Board has told city officials.
Nguyen Le Dung said the master plan for development of the new urban areas had been approved by the HCM City People's Committee. Site clearance for the new urban area had also been done.
A conference on promoting investments in the Thu Thiem Urban Area would be hosted by city authorities this month,Dung was quoted as saying in the Sai Gon Tiep Thi (Sai Gon Marketing) newspaper.
Located on the 657-ha Thu Thiem Pennisula, the Urban Area covers the wards of An Khanh, Thu Thiem, An Loi Dong, Binh An and Binh Khanh in District 2. The new urban area faces HCM City's downtown.
Dung said construction of the four major streets in the new urban area would begin in June.
The project will include an arch avenue, a central lake-side road, a Sai Gon River-side road and an overpass across from the southern ecological garden, with investment of VND10 trillion (US$476 million) from the Viet Nam Infrastructure Development and Financial Investment Joint-Stock Company.
Construction of the four roads are expected to be completed in 2015, paving the way for the development of the Thu Thiem New Urban Area.
Work on a new bridge, Thu Thiem Bridge No 2, is expected to begin later this year at a cost of VND2.3 trillion ($110 million).
It will link HCM City's downtown District 1 with District 2.
The bridge will be 852.5 metres long and 19.3 metres wide and have four lanes for vehicles.
Pedestrian lanes will be on both sides, according to the Viet Nam Construction and Import-Export JSC (Vinaconex), the project's investor.
City authorities have approved a dragon-shaped design for the bridge, with the head of the dragon located in District 2 and its tail in District 1.
Construction of the new bridge, to be carried out under the Build-Transfer (BT) mode, is expected to be completed by 2015.
The city authorities have licensed another 20 investment projects in Thu Thiem, including the residential area invested in by Dai Quang Minh Company and the re-settlement area with 6,200 apartments to be completed by the end of 2013.
A joint venture between Kien Phuoc Co and Capital Land has been waiting for a licence for a multi-function tower to be built on 8.7ha, which includes an 86-storey observation building.
The centre of the new urban area will include an international conference centre, a central square and an international financial, commercial and service centre.
Dung said city authorities had called for investment in 12 major projects, including the Thu Thiem Sofware Park to be located on a 15ha area, and the financial, commercial and service centre on a 93ha area.
Together with existing city infrastructure, the area will be an important part of the city centre and play a key role in the development of economic and financial sectors of not only HCM City and Viet Nam but also Southeast Asia, according to Dr Nguyen Trong Hoa, head of the Institute for Developmental Studies.
Thu Thiem will also take on the task of a socio-cultural centre, as the present centre of HCM City has no further room for construction.
Many cultural institutions, such as the central square, museums and an opera house, will be built in the new urban area.
However, due to the global economic crisis and the economic difficulties of Viet Nam in general and HCM City in particular, progress in investment in the Thu Thiem Urban Area has been slow, Hoa added. — VNS