Builders began work Tuesday on the second of six metro rail lines to run through Ho Chi Minh City.
The new rail line will be built with VND23.7 trillion (US$1.24 billion) worth of official development assistance. The Asian Development Bank and the European Development Bank are among the creditors. The Vietnamese government contributed some $198.9 million to the project.
The 20 km track will connect the Thu Thiem New Urban Area in District 2 with the An Suong Bus Station in Hoc Mon District.
The project managers expect the train, which will run above and below ground, to go into operation some time in 2016.
Builders broke ground on the first track segment in February, 2008. Connecting Ben Thanh in District 1 and Suoi Tien in District 9, the 19.7km line was expected to cost $1 billion. However, this July, city authorities asked the central government to increase the project budget to nearly $2.5 billion, citing inflation.
Under a plan to develop HCMC's traffic and transport infrastructure through 2020, the city will build six metro rail lines covering a total length of 109km. The project is expected to cost $7.5 billion, news website Dan Tri reported.