The Ministry of Transport on Thursday ordered authorities in Ho Chi Minh City to repair a severe rutting problem that has plagued one of its main streets over the last month, endangering traffic safety.
The order came after local media reported that the surface of Mai Chi Tho Street in District 2 has sunk into multiple layers again. Several traffic accidents have taken place, even though none was fatal.
The recurring problem has been reported at least six times since the street was opened to traffic in August 2010, as part of a massive VND9.84 trillion (US$451.2 million) project aiming to connect the city's east and west sides. The project was funded by Japan.
This time the depression, up to 15 centimeters deep, stretches half a kilometer, Lao Dong newspaper reported.
The troubled section was located near an entrance to Cat Lai Bypass, where motorbikes, cars and trucks were using to either enter or leave the elevated road, so whenever one vehicle stumbled into the sinked part, a collision would very likely happen, it reported.
Dung, a truck driver, was quoted as saying that only those who traveled on the road frequently were aware of the problem. Only these drivers knew when and how to adjust their speed and vehicles' position to avoid accidents, he said.
Others would easily fall into the trap and their vehicles would overturn, he said.
But Dung said when too many vehicles slowed down, traffic congestion would happen along the street, which leads to Cat Lai Port.
The speed limit is set between 60 and 80 kilometers per hour.
Meanwhile, Phan Van Anh, a nearby vehicle repairer, told Lao Dong that he has witnessed many motorbikers stumble, adding that one morning he even saw seven riders fall.
It is of course more dangerous at night, he added.
In one of the latest accidents, a truck lost its balance on Friday morning, sending its 20-feet container to the ground. The accident created a traffic jam that was not cleared until three hours later.
Speaking to Lao Dong, Pham Sanh, a lecturer with HCMC University of Transport, said the continued problem was probably caused by some issues with the street's foundation.
The city's transport authority needs to check the project thoroughly to fix the problem once and for all, he said.