Ho Chi Minh City has sought the Government's green light to advance construction of the Thu Thiem Bridge No 2 over the Sai Gon River by three years.

In a recent petition, the city People's Committee has asked to work on related formalities so that construction can begin next year and finish in 2017.

Early completion of the bridge, one of 14 to span Sai Gon River approved by the Government, will pave the way for the development of the Thu Thiem New Urban Area.

The city has a transportation master plan for the period through 2020, approved by the Prime Minister in 2013, which says removal of the Ba Son Shipyard – where the bridge will start — is "in the list of priorities for the 2013-15 stage".

A master plan for seaports in the HCM City – Dong Nai – Ba Ria-Vung Tau area envisaged removing the shipyard by 2010.

Construction of the bridge can only start when the shipyard goes.

According to HCM City authorities, the Prime Minister has signed three decisions related to its removal.

Ba Son Co. Ltd., the operator of the shipyard, has built a 200m pier and other facilities at the CaiMep – ThiVai Port in Ba Ria – Vung Tau.

The Ministry of Defence, owner of the shipyard, had asked to delay work on the bridge until 2018 so that Ba Son Corp could achieve its production goals.

Thu Thiem Bridge No 2 will be 19.3m wide and 1.2km long including approach roads at both ends in Districts 1 and 2.

It will cost 2.3 trillion VND (nearly 108.5 million USD).-VNA