VietNamNews

Slow site clearance delays bridge

Update: February, 22/2019 - 08:00
Construction of the Thủ Thiêm 2 Bridge project, linking District 1 and 2, is only 20 per cent complete. — Photo sggp.org.vn
Viet Nam News

HCM CITYThe Ministry of National Defence plans to hand over a part of its land near Ba Son area to the HCM City People’s Committee to ensure the progress of the Thủ Thiêm 2 Bridge project, which would link District 1 and 2. 

More than 11,100sq.m of land owned by Ba Son Corporation (under the Ministry of National Defence) is needed to make way for the project, according to the city’s Department of Transport. 

In late 2016, the city’s Department of Transport asked the People’s Committee to instruct agencies to speed up site clearance and relocation of households, and transfer the land to the developer.

Since the 4,276sq.m area of Ba Son factory on Tôn Đức Thắng Street, is no longer used, it can be immediately handed over to the investor to start construction of the bridge on the side of District 1, according to the department. 

The department wanted the Ba Son Corporation to hand over this site before December 15, 2018 for construction, pending completion of the legal procedures.

Ba Son Corporation has also been asked to hand over the remaining land before February 15. However, the handover has not taken place because of a disagreement on the amount of payment.

Deputy Minister of National Defence Bế Xuân Trường said he had reported to the Prime Minister about the proposed compensation amount for the military land at No 2 Tôn Đức Thắng Street in District 1.

The ministry asked the People’s Committee to pay for assets located on the land as well as additional cash for the land, which would total VNĐ104 billion (US$4.48 million).

However, the People’s Committee agreed to pay compensation only for the assets and to support a part of the relocation costs, with nearly VNĐ24 billion, but it asked the Prime Minister to allow it not to pay for the land. 

Delayed project

The construction of the Thủ Thiêm 2 Bridge linking the two districts was initiated in February 2015 as a build-transfer (BT) project at a cost of nearly VNĐ4.3 trillion ($190 million). 

It was originally expected to be completed in 2018. But the completion date was pushed to 2019 because of slow land clearance and land acquisition, according to Nguyễn Văn Tám, deputy director of the city’s Department of Transport. 

The 1.47km, six-lane bridge was scheduled to open to traffic on April 30 this year, but only 20 per cent of the work has been completed. Completion has been deferred to 2020.

Thủ Thiêm bridges No 3 and 4, to be built on a public-private partnership (PPP) basis, remain on paper. The cable-stayed bridges will have a 113m tower and are expected to be an architectural highlight of the Sài Gòn River.

The four-lane main branch will be 437m and rise from the Tôn Đức Thắng-Lê Duẩn intersection in District 1. The 195m second branch will have two lanes extending from District 1 to District 2.

The Sài Gòn River separates District 2 from most of the city’s other districts. People from District 2 can currently travel to District 1 via the Thủ Thiêm Tunnel, to Bình Thạnh District via the Sài Gòn Bridge and Thủ Thiêm Bridge, and to District 7 via the Phú Mỹ Bridge. VNS