Prime Minister inspects first river tunnel project

Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung ordered that safety, quality and tempo of construction be top priorities for the Thu Thiem tunnel project, which will cross the Saigon river, after an inspection on March 16.
Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung ordered that safety, quality and tempo of construction be top priorities for the Thu Thiem tunnel project, which will cross the Saigon river, after an inspection on March 16.

The Government leader recognised efforts made by project executives and contractors in successfully towing and installing unit 1 of the nation’s first river tunnel--the biggest of its kind in Southeast Asia with a total length of nearly 1.5 km.

However he called on project executives and contractors to work harder to make the project a complete success in the interests of the city and the region as well.

“Once completed, the East-West avenue, especially its most important part, the Thu Thiem tunnel, will not only help cut travel time from East to West and vice versa, thus contributing to reducing traffic jams in the centre of HCM City, but will also solve problems related to scenic views, environment and urban development,” Dung said.

The Thu Thiem river tunnel has been designed by Japan ’s Obayashi company to have three major sections, including a 370 m long four-unit section under the Saigon River .

The 9 m-high and 33 m-wide tunnel will have six lanes allowing speed limits of 60 km/h and be fully equipped with a ventilation system, including a ventilation tower, light, drainage, control and supervision systems and a ticket station.

The Thu Thiem tunnel across the Saigon river and the new Thu Thiem road in HCM City cost over 9.86 trillion VND in total, to which Japan ’s official development assistance contributes close to 65 percent. The rest comes from the HCM City ’s budgets.

The first unit of the tunnel was successfully towed and installed under the Saigon river on March 8.

Executives reported that the second unit will be towed and put under the river on April 6 while the third and fourth ones are scheduled for May and June to finish the tunnel project./.

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