There are now 80 public construction sites around HCMC, many on major streets, causing traffic congestion and disrupting daily life.
On the afternoon of December 1, long lines of cars and motorbikes inched little by little through a 50-meter section on Vo Van Ngan in Thu Duc City.
The section has been a construction site for two years now with two-meter-high barriers in place.
Work to renovate the drainage is being done right in the middle of the street with space of around 3m left on either side.
The work was supposed to be finished in 17 months but is nowhere near completion yet.
Shortly after they cross that section, commuters are stuck at yet another construction site near Thu Duc Market. This occupies more than half the street, causing all types of vehicles to get stuck in a long tailback.
Commuters inched through a 50-meter section on Vo Van Ngan Street in Thu Duc, HCMC, December 1, 2022. Photo by VnExpress/Gia Minh
Le Van, who lives on Vo Van Ngan Street, said: “Due to those construction sites, the surface of the street is filled with potholes. On sunny days we have to endure the dust and on rainy days the mud.”
She has a store on the street, and said business has been badly affected, with sales halving since before the construction began.
The Regional Construction Investment Project Management Board of Thu Duc City, which oversees the drainage work, has been fined a total of VND119 million ($5,000) on 13 different occasions.
The board said Vo Van Ngan Street’s high volume of traffic has affected the progress since the work could only be done at night.
It also blamed the Covid pandemic and urban flooding for disrupting the project.
Luong Dinh Cua Street, yet another major road in Thu Duc City, is also filled with construction sites and barriers for work to widen and upgrade it.
Thanks to it, Luong Dinh Cua has never been free of construction sites for seven years now.
“I understand that construction blocks streets, but this project has lasted way too long and has made our lives miserable,” a resident named Nguyen Van Quan lamented.
Traffic congestion at a construction site on Do Xuan Hop Street in District 7, December 6, 2022. Photo by VnExpress/Minh Thang
Le Van Thuong, deputy inspector of the city Department of Transport, said as of November there were 79 construction sites on 51 streets.
In District 8, a project to improve the Tau Hu – Ben Nghe – Doi – Te canal network has resulted in a dozen construction sites on Pham The Hien, one of the main streets in the area.
Work to build a tunnel and traffic circle at the intersection of Nguyen Van Linh and Nguyen Huu Tho streets means there are a number of construction sites in Districts 7, 8 and Binh Chanh.
So far this year traffic inspectors have fined the contractors more than VND1.8 billion.
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