March 16, 2010
Construction moving forward on Ho Chi Minh City tunnel
HO CHI MINH CITY
The first of four reinforced concrete segments has been anchored at the construction site of the Thu Thiem Tunnel on the Sai Gon River.
The 27,000-tonne structure will be settled in the river bed, while the other three segments will be towed to the site later this month from Nhon Trach District in the southern province of Dong Nai.
The 370 metre long underwater tunnel will connect the city’s District 1 with the new urban Thu Thiem Area in District 2. The tunnel is designed to ease the east-west traffic flow in the city.
Experts said the sealed segment will be lowered into a prepared trench on the riverbed and then covered with backfilling material in order to secure its position and protect the tunnel. The installation of each unit takes about one month to complete.
After the four units are secured and connected with the tunnel entrances at both ends, the driveway and the emergency pathways will be paved and assorted installation projects will continue until the tunnel is completed and opened in mid-2011.
The tunnel is part of the Sai Gon East-West Highway Project that is being implemented by Ho Chi Minh City with financial assistance from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). The agency has provided US$455.5 million for the project.
This new six-lane, 22 km road will connect National Highway 1A with the Hanoi Highway in the east. The road will also pass under the Sai Gon River through the Thu Thiem tunnel.
The installation of the immersed tunnel units is the most difficult part of the EWH project, officials say. These are the first tunnels of their kind in Vietnam and also the first project of this type in Southeast Asia.
DCN News Services
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