Ho Chi Minh City plans $662 mln overpass to ease traffic near airport

Thanh Nien News

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A file photo of a traffic jam on a street near Tan Son Nhat  International Airport, Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Diep Duc Minh/Thanh Nien A file photo of a traffic jam on a street near Tan Son Nhat International Airport, Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Diep Duc Minh/Thanh Nien

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Authorities in Ho Chi Minh City are considering a VND15 trillion (US$662.8 million) plan to build an elevated road linking a traffic circle near Tan Son Nhat International Airport and the city's downtown, local media reported on Monday.
The 9.5-kilometer overpass, starting at the circle Lang Cha Ca in Tan Binh District and ending in Binh Thanh District, will help reduce increasingly serious gridlocks around the airport, said Le Quoc Binh, CEO of Ho Chi Minh City Infrastructure Investment (CII) JSC.
The company, which has proposed to execute the project under a built-operate-transfer (BOT) agreement with the city, expects construction work to start next year and complete in three years, he said in news website Saigon Times Online.
CII has established Elevated Road No.1 Company, in which it owns a 80 percent stake, to develop the project, according to the website.
While it is unclear which company will partner with CII, Binh said, it will seek those with financial capacity, besides taking out loans from banks or issuing bonds to raise funds for the project.
Vietnam's largest airport, Tan Son Nhat received 7.89 million passengers in the first three months, up 25.26 percent from the same period last year, according to official figures. The number of passengers is expected to reach 31 million at the end of this year, compared to the airport's designed capacity of 20 million a year.
Streets leading to Tan Son Nhat have been suffering from constant traffic congestion, as more than 30,000 vehicles enter and leave the airport every day.
Originally an infrastructure investment arm of the People's Committee of Ho Chi Minh City, CII had an initial public offering in 2006.
By the end of the first quarter, the company's charter capital was estimated at VND2.6 trillion ($114.9 million) with foreign investors owning a combined stake of 48.97 percent, according to CII's data.

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