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|The Nguyễn Tri Phương road tunnel is technically completed in Đà Nẵng city. The tunnel will be used during the 2017 APEC Summit in the city on November 5-11. - VNS Photo Công Thành|
Work on the tunnel at the junction of Điện Biên Phủ, Nguyễn Tri Phương and Lê Độ streets began 11 months ago, according to the city’s managing board of Priority Infrastructure Projects. The VNĐ220 billion (US$9.77 million) road tunnel project, part of the city’s World Bank-funded sustainable development project, will replace the current ground-level intersection with a system of 160m-long open air tunnels and 80m underground tunnels. It is now technically complete, though not yet open to traffic. There will be two lanes for Bus Rapid Transit along with another two lanes for other vehicles.
It’s the city’s second such road project after a tunnel at the West Hàn River bank traffic intersection commenced construction last October, and one of the key projects in the city’s strategy to promote public transport and a Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) network.
Nguyễn Hữu Tuấn, deputy general director of Thuận An construction and trading joint-stock company, a contractor of the project, said the tunnel’s opening was timed to coincide with the APEC Summit, which the city is hosting for the first time.
“We have completed the technical inspection before opening for traffic. We revved up the construction schedule to complete the project in time before the APEC Summit,” Tuấn said.
“We had some items delays, but labourers worked through the nights to finish the tunnel early,” Tuấn said.
The city also plans to build a metro, tramway, and underground and sky train between 2020 and 2030.
With a population of one million, Đà Nẵng’s current public transit system is not meeting the needs of local residents. Only 1 per cent of the 2.5 million daily journeys in the city are made by public transport.
Đà Nẵng, the third largest city in Việt Nam, has invested in urban development to become the largest city in the central region and a green city by 2025, with funds from the World Bank.
In 2013, the World Bank agreed to provide $202 million for a $272 million sustainable development project to help build the city’s Bus Rapid Transit Network, lay new roads and revamp the drainage system.
The bank also funded a five-year priority infrastructure project for the city, by covering 70 per cent of the total cost of $218.4 million.