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VietNamNews

City to start construction on new metro line

Update: July, 23/2014 - 08:53
Metro Line No 1 will stretch from Ben Thanh Market in District 1 to Suoi Tien Theme Park in District 9.

HCM CITY (VNS) — Construction on HCM City's Metro Line No. 1 will begin later this month, authorities announced yesterday.

Metro Line No 1 will stretch from Ben Thanh Market in District 1 to Suoi Tien Theme Park in District 9.

The HCM City Management for Urban Railways and the Japanese consortium contractor Shimizu-Meada signed a contract on Monday.

A four-floor metro station will be located 40 metres underground near the city's Opera Theatre at the intersection of Nguyen Hue and Le Loi boulevards.

The 2.6-kilometre underground track from Ben Thanh market to Ba Son Shipyard incorporates two packages.

Package 1B extends from the Opera House to Ba Son is expected to be completed in five years.

"I have heard many things about the metro. And now the work will start soon and our city residents will have one more popular and comfortable means of public transport," Nguyen Thi Hue, a resident in district 8 was quoted as saying in Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper.

However, many city residents are concerned about traffic jams as the construction will occur over two years.

"We are traders and have to pay a lot of money for shops located on Le Loi Street. Now the street will be restricted in order to build the metro, so I hope authorities will pay attention to our daily business needs," said Hoang, a clothing shop owner.

Khai, another resident who lives on Thai Van Lung Street, where the underground metro will run nearby, said he was worried about the impact from tunnel digging.

City authorities have said that underground construction work might affect nearby buildings as soil-sinking incidents had occurred around these areas.

They have told the contractors to carefully attend to safety during construction.

Le Khac Huynh, vice director of the HCM City Management Authority for Urban Railways, said the city had required contractors to set up measuring equipment to ensure safety for all nearby buildings.

"Incidents near the Nguyen Sieu Condo Bulding and Pacific Building in the past have alerted us to safety. Although such incidents have happened during metro projects in other cities, city leaders are paying attention to safety in construction," he said.

Metro Line No.1 has a total length of 19.7km, including a 2.6km underground section. The line has three underground and 11 elevated stations. The route will be given a test run in 2019 before being officially put into operation in the following year.

Construction began on the 19.7-kilometer track in August 2012, some seven years later than originally planned.

The commute between downtown HCM City and Suoi Tien Park will take 29 minutes at a maximum speed of 80km per hour on the underground track and 110 km per hour on the elevated track.

Total investment for the project is US$2.49 billion, with more than 88 percent of the funds provided through Japanese Official Development Assistance, and the rest from HCM City's coffers. — VNS

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