The Ho Chi Minh City Urban Railway Management Board and the Japan International Cooperation Agency on May 16 signed a contract to implement the second bid package of the Ben Thanh-Suoi Tien Metro Project at a total cost of 45 billion yen (US$571,5 million).
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The project will be 19.7-kilometres in length and consists of a 2.2-kilometre long underground section with three stations, and a 17.5-kilometre section with 11 elevated stations. The project will connect Ben Thanh Market in the centre of HCMC to the Suoi Tien amusement park in District 9.
The line will go underground from Station 1 at Quach Thi Trang round-about near Ben Thanh Market. It will consist of two horizontally aligned tunnels. After Station 3 at Ba Son the line will move from underground to elevated level. The underground section has a total of three stations and Line 1 will have a crossing at the Saigon River.
Speaking at the signing ceremony, Nguyen Huu Tin, deputy chairman of the HCMC People’s Committee said that the metro is one the most important projects and will greatly help reduce traffic congestion in the city.
He asked the management board and local authorities to step up progress in clearing land and hand over space to construction units before September.
According to Sai Gon Giai Phong Newspaper reporters, at present District 9 and Binh Thanh District authorities have completed clear the ground. Districts 2, 9 and Thu Duc have not yet completed site clearance.
The city hopes that the first metro will be operational as Vietnam’s first metro service by early 2015.