Final section of Vietnam's first underwater tunnel placed

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The fourth and final section of the Thu Thiem Tunnel, the first underwater tunnel in Vietnam, was successfully installed under the Sai Gon River in Ho Chi Minh City on Saturday night, officials said.

The management board of the East West Highway and Water Environment Project, which includes construction of the tunnel, said the task was completed faster than the installment of previous sections despite the much higher precision required.

There was only a space of 1.25 meters for the section to be maneuvered into its position, the board said.

Inspections started immediately after to make sure the section was properly installed.

The 1.5 kilometer tunnel is the main part of the East West Highway Project. The underwater part comprises four sections, each of which is 92 meters long and weighs more than 27,000 tons.

Construction of the Thu Thiem Tunnel started in 2005 and is expected to be completed in August this year. It is scheduled to open to traffic in February next year.

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