In order to make way for bigger ships, HCMC will spend VND244 billion (US$10.4 million) raising two bridges at its gateways.
The two bridges, Binh Trieu 1 Bridge which links Thu Duc City with Binh Thanh District, and Binh Phuoc 1 which connects Thu Duc with District 12, will be raised at a cost of VND133 billion and VND111 billion respectively, the city People’s Council said Monday.
Built in 1975, Binh Trieu 1 was expanded in 2010 but rises just 5.5 meters above the surface of the water. Vessels can only get through when carrying a maximum of three layers of containers.
Meanwhile, Binh Phuoc 1 stands only five to six meters above the water surface at high tide, making it difficult for large vessels to get through.
The work to raise the two bridges will be carried out from now until 2025.
The new height for both bridges must be between 7 and 9.5 meters.
Nguyen Duc Thang, vice principal of the College of Transportation Waterways II in HCMC’s District 7, said in February that due to low bridges, cargo vessels have not been able to take full advantage of major waterways connecting HCMC with surrounding areas.
This has forced businesses dependent on those routes to switch to smaller vessels or use special ships with lower cabins.
HCMC has more than 900 km of waterways, equivalent to 50% of its road network.
The system of rivers and canals connects the city with many localities in the south. However, both traffic and waterway tourism is inadequate and underdeveloped.
Last year, the volume of goods transported via waterways in the city reached more than 65.7 million tons, up 52% compared to the pre-pandemic year of 2019.
More than 33 million passengers traveled via the city’s waterways last year, a drop of 17% compared to 2019.
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