Ho Chi Minh City's Sai Gon Bridge No. 2 linking Districts 2 and Binh Thanh was inaugurated on October 15 by Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc.

The 987.3m-long, 23.5m-wide, four-lane bridge, built just a few metres away from the old Sai Gon Bridge, will have a lifespan of 100 years and can survive earthquakes of up to 5.5 magnitude.

The 1.5 trillion VND (about 71 million USD) bridge is expected to ease traffic on the constantly overloaded Sai Gon Bridge, which is nearly five decades old.

The BT (build-transfer) project is also aimed at unclogging the city's northeastern entrance, according to the builder, the Ho Chi Minh City Infrastructure Investment Joint Stock Co.

The new bridge is meant for vehicles travelling from Binh Thanh to District 2, and the old one, for vehicles in the opposite direction.

Deputy PM Phuc hailed Ho Chi Minh City's policy of mobilising private sources of funds for developing infrastructure, including the bridge.

He urged the municipal authorities to go on with this policy and speed up administrative reforms to create favourable conditions for local and foreign investors eyeing projects in the city, and praised the engineers and workers who completed its construction in just 18 months instead of the scheduled 21.

Nguyen Huu Tin, deputy chairman of the Ho Chi Minh City People's Committee, said Sai Gon Bridge No. 2 would help ease the congestion of traffic moving from the Hanoi Highway to inner districts.-VNA