|Perspective of the Thu Thiem 2 bridge in HCM City. Work on a number of major traffic projects under the public-private partnership model in HCM City are expected to begin in 2016. — Photo chinhphu.vn
HCM CITY (VNS) — Work on a number of major traffic projects under the public-private partnership model in HCM City are expected to begin in 2016, the municipal Department of Transport said.
Nine projects totaling more than VND14 trillion (US$628 million) include the Thu Thiem 2 bridge, the D3 Road linking the Sai Gon-Hiep Phuoc Port, a road connecting Vo Van Kiet Road with HCM City-Trung Luong Expressway, and a section from Pham Van Dong Road to Go Dua crossroads.
Other transport projects to be kicked off this year include the Binh Tien Bridge and road project, a project on Nguyen Van Linh-Nguyen Huu Tho intersection, a section linking An Lac intersection and Long An Province, two public waterway projects, and the right section of the HCM City-Long Thanh-Dau Giay expressway.
Some underground car park projects at Le Van Tam Park, Trong Dong Theatre, Tao Dan Park, and Hoa Lu Stadium are scheduled to commence this year.
In addition, another 28 projects with a total investment of VND5 trillion ($224.3 million) are anticipated to kick off the same year, including the My Thuy intersection, An Suong underpass and Nhi Thien Duong 1 bridge.
Also in 2016, the city expects to complete 15 major traffic projects worth nearly VND 2.3 trillion ($103.2 million).
Speaking at a meeting on the city's traffic last month, Nguyen Ngoc Truong, deputy head of the city's Traffic Safety Board under the Transport Department, said that insufficient transport infrastructure attributed to 20 per cent of traffic accidents in the city in the last three years.
According to the department, between 2012-15, nearly 13,000 traffic accidents were reported, killing about 2,140 people and injuring 11,686 people.
Transport Department Director Bui Xuan Cuong said that until last year, there were 7.45 million private vehicles in the city - three times higher than that of 2012.
The total number of vehicles operating in the city each day could be up to 10 million because of additional vehicles from other cities and provinces, he said.
There are about 20,000 container trucks travelling around Cat Lai Port daily, and a toll station on Ha Noi highway that links HCM City and Bien Hoa sees about 50,000 cars and 500,000 motorbikes daily.
Cuong said that by 2020, the city needs about VND255 trillion ($11.4 billion) for transport infrastructure, while the State's budget can only afford VND11 trillion ($494 million).
"The need and the modest budget require HCM City to have flexible policies to seek investment for transport infrastructure development," he said.
However, he said that in addition to funding, difficulties remain in developing transport infrastructure projects including land clearance and project management.
He said that under the Rach Chiec Bridge Project, drastic measures in land clearance helped speed up the project and save VND200 billion ($9 million) in project investment.
Meanwhile, HCM City's metro Line 2 Ben Thanh-Tham Luong, which began earlier last year, was already two years behind schedule and is now set to be completed in 2019, partly because of slow land clearance, he said. — VNS