Construction of the four-floor belowground section of the first station of the first metro line in Ho Chi Minh City began at the intersection of Le Loi and Nguyen Hue Streets in District 1 on Friday.
About 200 Japanese and Vietnamese engineers and workers are taking part in the building of the structure, whose deepest floor is about 36 meters below the surface, said Bui Xuan Cuong, head of the Ho Chi Minh City Urban Railway Management Board.
Before starting the work on the basement, engineers and workers had spent 45 days building the foundation of the station, which is as deep as 44 meters underground, Cuong said.
It is expected that the first concrete floor of the section will be completed on February 15, 2015, the official said.
All work on the station, named the Municipal Theater Station, which will be 190 meters long and 26 meters wide, is scheduled to finish in 2017, he added.
The terminal is the first among 14 stations on the Ben Thanh-Suoi Tien metro line, the first of its kind in the country.
The line is 19.7 km long, running from District 1 through Binh Thanh District, District 2, District 9 and Thu Duc District in Ho Chi Minh City before reaching Di An Town in neighboring Binh Duong Province.
It includes a 17.1 km aboveground part with 11 terminals, and a 2.6 km underground section with three stations.
The Ho Chi Minh City Urban Railway Management Board is the investor of this metro project, which is estimated to cost US$2.49 billion.
The metro line, which broke ground in August 2012, is slated to be completed in 2017 and put into operation in 2018, when it can transport about 620,000 passengers per day, the Ho Chi Minh City Department of Transport said.