An underground tunnel will soon link Tran Nguyen Han and Chuong Duong Do streets in Hanoi's downtown Hoan Kiem district.

Construction on the 90 billion VND (4.2 million USD) project, funded by the municipal budget, is scheduled to start in the second quarter of this year and be completed by late 2015.

The tunnel, which includes a passageway for pedestrians, aims to ease traffic jams and ensure safety for drivers in an area that sees frequent accidents.

The municipal People's Committee has entrusted the city's transport department with coming up with an investment plan to submit to authorities for approval.

Architect Dao Ngoc Nghiem told Dan Tri online newspaper that the 1992 urban plan states that Hanoi must build road junctions to connect the inner city with the suburbs. To connect these areas, an overpass or underground tunnel should be built and, considering the current conditions, an underground tunnel was the most reasonable solution, he said.

He also cautioned authorities to take into account geological conditions and the rising sea level which could lead to serious flooding.

Local people in Phuc Tan ward in Hoan Kiem district, where the tunnel will be built, have proposed pedestrian flyovers to connect the streets. However, the department decided the tunnel was a better solution as it would be less of an eyesore.-VNA