Second Thu Thiem tunnel section set for installment

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The second section of the Thu Thiem Tunnel will be towed from Dong Nai Province for placement under the Saigon River in Ho Chi Minh City on April 5, city leaders said Tuesday.

Le Hoang Quan, chairman of the municipal People's Committee, said the task would be more difficult than the last placement.

"This time will be more difficult because the second section will be located at the deepest point in the river, and midstream."

Though the first piece of the Thu Thiem Tunnel was installed successfully, Quan said some problems happened during the tow on March 7.

Earlier, the tunnel's management board said stronger currents than expected caused the section to drift away from the planned towing trajectory.

Nguyen Thanh Tai, the city's vice chairman and head of the Thu Thiem Tunnel project's steering committee, said the towing fleet would use an extra tugboat this time.

The fleet will depart at 7 a.m. on April 5, and take about six to seven hours to deliver the section, said Luong Minh Phuc, director of the Thu Thiem Tunnel project's management board.

The section measuring nine meters high, 33 meters wide and 92 meters long will then be submerged beneath the Saigon River by 11 p.m., he said.

For safety reasons, all vessels will be banned from traveling on the river during the move.

The two remaining tunnel sections will be towed to the city on May 4-5 and June 4-5.

The three-lane Thu Thiem Tunnel linking HCMC's districts 1 and 2 is slated to open to traffic next year, allowing vehicles to travel at 60 kilometers per hour.

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