After several years of sputtering, Hanoi's notorious elevated rail project now has a new finish date with the first train scheduled to run on December 31.
The Railway Project Management Unit (PMU), the investor, and the main contractor China Railway Sixth Group Co. Ltd on Saturday signed an agreement promising to meet that deadline. Deputy Transport Minister Nguyen Hong Truong witnessed the signing.
Le Kim Thanh, general director of the Railway PMU, said that 70 percent of the construction work for the Cat Linh-Ha Dong project has been completed.
Work on the 13-kilometer line, which will link Cat Linh Street to Yen Nghia Bus Station in Ha Dong District, was originally scheduled to start in August 2008 and finish in November 2013.
But construction was delayed until October 2011.
A prolonged site clearance process and late payments to sub-contractors were key reasons behind the delay, which caused the initial cost estimate of US$552 million to increase by a staggering $339 million.
The project has also been notorious for two collapses in 2014, killing one and injuring three others.