|A map showing the route of the planned HCM City - Mộc Bài Expressway connecting HCM City with neibouring Tây Ninh Province, which is expected to facilitate economic growth in the southern region, especially Mộc Bài Border Gate Economic Zone. — Photo courtesy of Ministry of Transport|
HCM CITY — Major transport projects enhancing inter-regional connectivity and reducing traffic jams are expected to create a breakthrough for HCM City’s traffic infrastructure this year, according to the director of the city’s Department of Transport Trần Quang Lâm.
Despite facing many difficulties due to the impact of the pandemic last year, the city’s transport sector made great efforts to complete nine key traffic infrastructure works and has started construction of six new projects.
“They have contributed to reducing traffic-related accidents and congestion, as well as ensuring smooth transportation,” Lâm said.
About 20 ongoing key projects are expected to be put into operation by the end of this year, including building new Bưng and Bà Hom bridges, expansion of Hoàng Hoa Thám and Đồng Văn Cống streets, and an upgrade of Cộng Hòa Street.
The transport sector will begin construction of 16 urgent projects, including Metro Line No.2 connecting Bến Thành Market in District 1 and Tham Lương Depot in District 12, An Phú Intersection in Thủ Đức City, widening a section of National Highway No. 50 in Bình Chánh District, and infrastructure works to ease congestion in areas around Tân Sơn Nhất International Airport in Tân Bình District.
“We are speeding up work on the Metro Line No. 1 between Bến Thành Market and Suối Tiên Theme Park in Thủ Đức City and expect to finish it by year-end,” Lâm said.
The department is working with provinces in the southern key economic region to accelerate the investment in inter-regional projects such as the ring roads No. 2, 3 and 4, HCM City- Thủ Dầu Một -Chơn Thành Expressway running from HCM City, through Bình Dương Province to Bình Phước Province, and HCM City- Mộc Bài Expressway between HCM City and Tây Ninh Province.
It will continue to remove obstacles to speed up the building of Thủ Thiêm 2 Bridge, four main roads in Thủ Thiêm New Urban Area and infrastructure in a residential area located in the northern part of Thủ Thiêm Peninsula in Thủ Đức City, and a north-south axis running through 4, 7 and Nhà Bè districts.
It will focus on developing local seaport systems, waterway transport infrastructure, potential seaports, and waterway transport combined with logistics development.
It will speed up work for investment in several proposed projects such as building elevated road No. 1 running through Tân Bình, Phú Nhuận and Bình Thạnh districts, and elevated road No. 5 linking Thủ Đức City and 12, Bình Tân, Hóc Môn and Bình Chánh districts, a new inland container depot, and an international container transhipment terminal in Cần Giờ District.
More attention will be paid to projects connecting industrial parks and clusters, export processing zones and seaports, and developing infrastructure work for a planned interactive innovation urban area in the eastern part of the city.
Lâm said the department had developed and submitted to the municipal People’s Committee a transport infrastructure plan for 2021-30 to evaluate capital sources and capital allocation priorities for urgent projects in the city.
It proposed giving capital allocation priority to 186 transport projects in 2021-25 and supplementing capital for investment in 55 public investment projects this year.
At the end of 2020, the city’s People’s Council issued a resolution on collecting fees for using infrastructure facilities and public services at local ports.
The transport department has implemented toll collection, creating a new financial source for the city budget for investment and upgrading of transport infrastructure.
It is working with the Department of Planning and Architecture, and the Department of Natural Resources and Environment to review amendments to the use of land funds along with the ring roads No. 3 and 4 projects to create favourable conditions for calling on investment and more financial resources.
It is seeking approval from the administration to auction land along the under-construction Ring Road No. 3.
The pandemic has caused raw building material prices to skyrocket, affecting the selecting of contractors, signing contracts and construction.
"Material suppliers have also faced many difficulties in transporting materials and rising in transportation costs due to travel restrictions," according to Lâm.
In addition, site clearance and compensation remain slow in many key projects such as Thủ Thiêm 2 and Long Kiểng bridges and Mỹ Thủy Intersection.
The city’s medium-term public investment plan for 2021-2025 is based on the level of capital allocation set by the National Assembly. However, registered capital is only enough for transitional projects in 2016-20, and not enough to carry out new projects in 2021-25.
It has been given the highest priority to use its budget for the pandemic prevention and control work, making it harder to arrange capital for public investment projects.
As a result, the municipal People’s Committee has asked the Ministry of Planning and Investment for approval from the Prime Minister for additional capital from the central budget for 2021-25 and key and urgent projects. — VNS