Viet Nam News
HCM CITY — Construction of the Bình Lợi Railway Bridge project that will link HCM City’s Thủ Đức and Bình Thạnh districts will not be completed by November 31 as scheduled.
The new bridge is being built to allow a seven-metre vertical clearance for vessels. The current vertical clearance is only 1.5 metres.
With a total length of 1.3 km, including approach roads, the project is being built under a Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) investment model at a cost of VNĐ1,302 billion (about US$57 million).
Đinh Việt Tiến, CEO of BOT Bình Lợi Co. Ltd., the main project developer, said that site clearance in the two districts had progressed slowly.
In Bình Thạnh District, telecommunication cable networks and water supply networks were hindering site clearance, he said.
HCM City authorities had previously advanced VNĐ95 billion ($4.2 million) for site clearance in both districts.
The project is expected to improve train and waterway transport between HCM City and the neighbouring provinces of Bình Phước, Đồng Nai and Bình Dương.
It includes dredging a section of the Sài Gòn River which extends from the bridge to Bến Súc Harbour in Bình Dương Province.
Construction work began in April 2015 on the bridge which spans a tributary of the Sài Gòn River. The new bridge, which is 1.3 km long (including an approach road), is being built 12 metres away from the old Bình Lợi Railway Bridge.
During a recent inspection, Deputy Minister of Transport Nguyễn Ngọc Đông said that implementation of administrative procedures, technical design and contractor selection had been too slow.
Đông told the Department for Transportation Work Construction and Quality Management to identify the causes of the delay and consider punishing those who were responsible.
Of the 18 package deals, construction has yet to begin on packages 7 and 8, according to Đông.
He asked the developers of the package deals to work with HCM City to find dumping sites for discharged soil at the bridge construction site.
The project investment totals VNĐ1,302 billion, including VNĐ172 billion in equity from the investor, VNĐ156.3 billion from the HCM City budget (for site clearance and resettlement), VNĐ300 billion in interest-free loans from Bình Dương Province, and VNĐ674.4 billion in bank loans. — VNS