Ho Chi Minh City grapples with congestion amid rapid urbanization

Authorities in Ho Chi Minh City are seeking various measures to improve traffic infrastructure to keep pace with the mushrooming of high-rises, especially in downtown areas

A traffic jam on Hoang Van Thu Street near the entrance to Tan Son Nhat International Airport in Ho Chi Minh City.

As buildings and shopping malls have sprung up in the city center, traffic around the neighborhoods has become congested more often.

Meanwhile, infrastructural development is still sluggish against the fast urbanization rate in the city.

Along many streets in District 1 and District 3, namely Hai Ba Trung, Vo Van Tan, Nguyen Thi Minh Khai, Nguyen Dinh Chieu, more and more high-rises have lately cropped up, resulting in regular traffic jams.

As a temporary solution to this problem, the municipal Department of Transport has proposed one-way traffic on Hai Ba Trung, Pham Ngoc Thach, Le Quy Don, and Tran Quoc Thao Streets.

Multiple buildings on Cach Mang Thang 8 and 3/2 Streets are expected to be put into operation in the near future, sparking concern over the immense traffic pressure on these roads and the nearby Dan Chu Roundabout.

According to Tran Quang Lam, deputy director of the transport department, several projects will be executed to facilitate traffic in the neighborhood, including a flyover and a metro route.

A section of Dien Bien Phu Street, where a BRT route project will be carried out. Photo: Tuoi Tre

The municipal People’s Committee has recently urged competent agencies to open two river bus lines in June to help ease pressure on the streets.

The first route will cover a 10.8 kilometer journey from Bach Dang Port in District 1 to Linh Dong in Thu Duc District, while the second will connect Bach Dang with Lo Gom in District 8.

The chairman of the city, Nguyen Thanh Phong, has also agreed to invest in two additional river bus lines, linking Bach Dang Port with Mui Den Do and Phu My Hung Urban Area in District 7.

The Urban-Civil Works Construction Investment Management Authority of Ho Chi Minh City (UCCI) has announced that they are reviewing a project on opening a BRT (bus rapid transit) route on Vo Van Kiet and Mai Chi Tho Avenues.

Upon its anticipated completion in 2019, the BRT route will go through major areas in the city such as District 1, District 5, District 6, Binh Tan District, and Binh Chanh District, the UCCI added.

A four-lane elevated highway is also expected to be constructed in the future, which connects Cong Hoa Street in Phu Nhuan District with the Phu An Bridge in Binh Thanh District.

The road will be 9.5 kilometers long and 17.5 meters wide, whose construction is anticipated to begin in 2018 once it is approved by local authorities.

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