Viet Nam News
ĐÀ NẴNG — The central city will decide whether to build a tunnel through the Hàn River in its last technical meeting later this month.
The city’s Party Secretary and Chairman of the People’s Council, Nguyễn Xuân Anh, said at the year-end press conference yesterday that the tunnel plan has been under the city’s scrutiny since 2015. The city’s party leadership and People’s Council agreed on the tunnel plan in a meeting last month.
“Members of the city’s party committee all had agreed on the tunnel project after discussions and consideration in three 2016 meeting. The 6-lane tunnel will help meet increasing transport demand while not destroying the architecture of the Hàn River,” Anh said.
“The construction of the tunnel will anticipate an inlfux of motor vehicles into the city, an increasing population and speedy urbanisation,” he said.
Anh said the city will review funding, design and technology.
As scheduled, the 1.3km tunnel project--of which 900m will go under the river--will be built with an investment capital of VNĐ4.1 trillion (US$181 million).
It will be the first traffic route under the Hàn River and a landmark tourism hub in central Việt Nam.
Chairman of the city’s people’s committee, Huỳnh Đức Thơ, said traffic has doubled in five years, while the city often approves three or four construction licenses for hotels, apartments and tourism property in Sơn Trà district daily.
Thơ said the tunnel is not the only solution to ease traffic overload, but it’s a measure for the city’s future development with a population of 3 million and a 30 per cent growth in tourism.
He said the project must ensure the architecture, utility and commuter safety and protect the river’s banks and space.
Last year, Bridge&Tunnel Consultants (BRITEC), who was assigned to develop some key tunnels in Việt Nam by the transport ministry, proposed the 6-lane tunnel in Đà Nẵng beginning at Đống Đa-Trần Phú junction in Hải Châu district and ending on Vân Đồn street in Sơn Trà district.
However, some experts voiced anxiety about BRITEC’s plan at a seminar on the city’s 20-year urban development on December 17th.
Deputy head of the Party Central Committee’s Organisation Commission, Trân Văn Minh said on his Facebook that the city should reconsider the tunnel’s construction plan, funds and maintenance for future development.
Architect Hoàng Sừ, former head of Đà Nẵng’s planning and construction Institute, said the city should not build a tunnel or a bridge at the position.
He said the city should expand current two-lane Hàn Swing Bridge in connection with the busy Trần Phú-Lê Duẩn junction.
Sừ said at the seminar that the tunnel is not a perfect solution for the city’s future traffic, and building a bridge is cheaper and easier.
Trần Dân, deputy chairman of Road and Bridge Science and Technology Association of Việt Nam, agreed with the tunnel project, but he said the tunnel plan should reduce its entrance slope to 3 per cent from 4 per cent.
He said the tunnel design in shape of ‘Z’, which limits land clearance cost, will be tough for trucks and container trucks traveling with high slope and bend.
He suggested the tunnel should be redesigned on a straight axis with reduced slope.
Deputy chairman of HCM City’s Road and Bridge Association, Hà Ngọc Trường said the construction of the tunnel should be carefully reviewed.
“It’s not urgent. The city should eye the traffic connection between the tunnel and other underground projects – Metro, Bus Rapid Transit (BRT), monorail or mass public transport routes,” Trường said at the seminar.
Director of the city’s transport department, Lê Văn Trung said the tunnel aims to ease traffic congestion at junctions in Sơn Trà and Hải Châu districts, while it does not destroy the Hàn River’s architect and limit boat traveling.
Currently, Đà Nẵng has built six major bridges including Thuận Phước, the Hàn Swing Bridge, Rồng (Dragon), Trần Thị Lý, Tuyên Sơn and Nguyễn Tri Phương, and an old 1960s-built Nguyễn Văn Trỗi Bridge.
The city started construction of a road tunnel at the junction of Lê Duẩn and Trần Phú and plans to build another road tunnel at the busiest roundabouts: Điện Biên Phủ, Nguyễn Tri Phương and Lê Độ.
In 2005, the city put into operation of the Hải Vân road tunnel on national Highway No. 1 and plans to build another tunnel route.
Last year, the city put into operation a three-level rail and road flyover at Huế Junction to alleviate congestion.
In 2013, the city’s Rồng (Dragon) Bridge, spanning the Hàn River, claimed the American Council of Engineering Companies’ Diamond Award for structural systems.
Đà Nẵng has invested much in urban development in order to make it the largest city in the central region--and with aims to make it a ‘green city’ by 2025--with funds from the World Bank
In 2013, the Bank agreed to provide $202 million for a $272-million sustainable development project to help improve the city’s Bus Rapid Transit network, build new roads, and revamp the existing drainage system.
World Bank also funded a five-year priority infrastructure project by covering 70 per cent of the total investment of $218.4 million in 2008 to 2013. — VNS