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Funds to ease City traffic mess

Update: December, 15/2010 - 10:23
Traffic on Bach Dang Street in HCM City's Binh Thanh District. The Asian Development Bank has announced funding of more than US$1 billion for two major transport projects in the city to ease congestion. — VNA/VNS Photo Hoang Hai

Traffic on Bach Dang Street in HCM City's Binh Thanh District. The Asian Development Bank has announced funding of more than US$1 billion for two major transport projects in the city to ease congestion. — VNA/VNS Photo Hoang Hai

HA NOI — The Asian Development Bank has approved a US$1.1 billion finance package for two major HCM City transport projects.

The bank will provide $540 million toward the building of a $1.4 billion second mass transit railway and $636 million for a $1.6 billion expressway to the south of the city, it says in a statement issued from its Manila headquarters yesterday.

The 11.3-km metro railway - 9.3 km of it underground - will extend from Ben Thanh in the city's centre past the Tan Son Nhat International Airport to Tham Luong.

About 213,000 passengers are expected to use the service each day after it opens in 2017 rising to 300,000 by 2020 and 700,000 by 2035.

The railway is expected to reduce travel time along the corridor by 20 per cent from this year's figure and reduce traffic accidents by 30 per cent.

Other financiers for the HCM City Mass Transit Line 2 are listed as KfW Bankengrupe, $313 million and the European Investment Bank, $195 million.

The Viet Nam Government will provide $326.5 million.

The second project is a 57-km expressway between Ben Luc and Long Thanh that is intended to further alleviate traffic congestion in the centre and the carrying of goods between the major ports.

The Japan Government is expected to provide $635 million and the Viet Nam Government $337 million for the expressway.

The expressway would address the major gridlock in HCM City because vehicles now had to travel from east to west to pass through the city's heart, said the bank's Transport Division, Southeast Asia, James Lynch.

The gridlock increased logistics costs and hindered the city's economic growth, he said.

The expressway was expected to reduce east-west travel by 80 per cent from it opened in 2017.

It would be flood-proof with half consisting of bridges and viaducts.

The public projects had been introduced at a time when private vehicles dominated transport and infrastructure was reaching saturation point, he said.

The interest for the loans will be at prevailing commercial interest rates settled through negotiation at a time yet to be fixed, an ADB official, Viet Nam, said last night. — VNS

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