HCM CITY — HCM City officially inaugurated on Saturday two key bridges that are expected to reduce traffic congestion significantly at the city's north-eastern gateway.
The Rach Chiec Bridge linking Districts 2 and 9 on Ha Noi Highway was inaugurated by Deputy Prime Minister Hoang Trung Hai and Minister of Transport Ho Nghia Dung, opening to traffic after completion of the first phase of construction.
The first phase was completed three months ahead of schedule.
The bridge would contribute to the socio-economic development of HCM City and the southern region, Hai said, noting that it would also help ease traffic congestion to and from Cat Lai Port, the largest in Viet Nam.
Construction of the bridge, with 10 lanes and six-metre navigation clearance, began in September 2009 with a total investment of VND1 trillion (US$50 million). The Rach Chiec Bridge had been mentioned for long as one of the weakest bridges in the city after being in use for more than 50 years.
After construction of all phases are completed, the 46m wide bridge will resolve traffic bottlenecks in the area, allowing vehicles to run smoothly, according to Au Duong Kim, member of the city's Traffic Safety Committee.
Meanwhile, the Thu Thiem Bridge, which links Thu Thiem Peninsula in District 2 with the city centre, has been fully completed with the planting of trees and construction of pedestrian crossings, a tunnel and a flyover.
All sections of the VND1.5 trillion ($75 million) project that broke ground in 2005 have been completed, including the main body of the bridge, approach roads from Thu Thiem and Binh Thanh District, and a four-lane tunnel on Nguyen Huu Canh Street.
The bridge and the tunnel are expected to share traffic burden with the Sai Gon Bridge and stimulate development of the Thu Thiem Peninsula by offering easier access.
The 370m long bridge with its main section having five spans has an estimated life span of 100 years. — VNS