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Thang Long Boulevard becomes driving nightmare

Update: September, 09/2013 - 09:12
Thang Long boulevard, costing VND8 trillion (US$410 million), starts at the intersection of Lang-Hoa Lac Road and Ring Road 3, and ends at the intersection between Lang-Hoa Lac Road, National Highway 21 and Ho Chi Minh Highway.— Photo chinhphu

HA NOI (VNS)— Thang Long Boulevard in Ha Noi, which was declared the most modern highway in the country when it opened in 2010, has been found to be quickly deteriorating. Many sections are also said to have been left unfinished.

Only three years after work finished in time for the Thang Long-Ha Noi millennium, many barriers and flyovers are said to be half completed, particularly near Me Tri Commune in Tu Liem District.

In the same district's My Dinh Commune, construction of pavements still remain to be finished. In addition, there are many holes and cracks in existing surfaces. Cracks dozens of metres long and 2-3cm wide have also appeared on the highway, despite constant repairs. This could indicate faulty foundations.

"Due to the unevenness of highway, the wheels of my car don't seem to touch the road at the same time," a local truck driver named Phu told the online PetroTimes newspaper.

Motorcycle lanes built at the same time parallel to Thang Long Boulevard have holes up to 3-4 metres square. Drivers are wary of driving over them in case they overturn.

Apart from the deterioration, the highway has been hit by thieves who have been stealing iron plates used as safety barriers. Cast-iron sewer covers and wire from the road's lighting system have also been stolen.

On top of all this, due to lack of drainage, almost all of the tunnels on the highway turn into rivulets after storms.

The worst affected areas are tunnels number 2, 3, 5, and 6 in Tu Liem and Hoai Duc districts. Local authorities now place warning signs about deeply flooded areas and instruct vehicle owners to make a detour.

"The tunnels flood whenever there is a heavy downpour," said Nguyen Van Trong, 32, a resident from Tay Mo Commune, adding that water levels once reached 60 centimetres.

Despite the chaos and problems, the Thang Long Project Management Board, which built the boulevard, has refused to comment on the issues.

Thang Long boulevard, costing VND8 trillion (US$410 million), starts at the intersection of Lang-Hoa Lac Road and Ring Road 3, and ends at the intersection between Lang-Hoa Lac Road, National Highway 21 and Ho Chi Minh Highway.

It is 140-170m wide and has six express lanes and two additional lanes for motorcycles and bicycles. —VNS

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