The second phase of a US$23.58 million project to upgrade Nguyen Hue Street in downtown Ho Chi Minh City and turn part of it into a square for pedestrians only began on Friday.
The phase covers an area that is 670 meters long and 60.6 meters wide, bounded by Le Loi and Ton Duc Thang Streets, the city Department of Transport said.
According to its design, the street’s existing roadway will be expanded to 27 meters in width and transformed into a square for walkers.
Vehicles will travel on two sides of the square, with a total width of 21 meters. Meanwhile, the two sidewalks will be 12.6 meters wide in total.
In the square area, there will be two water fountains, one of which will be located at the intersection of Nguyen Hue and Mac Thi Buoi Streets and the other at the Nguyen Hue-Le Loi crossroads.
The phase is projected to cost about VND398 billion (US$18.75 million) and to be completed by April 15, 2015.
Due to the construction work, the local transport department has banned vehicles on several streets in the vicinity of the site, including Nguyen Thiep, Mac Thi Buoi, Ton That Thiep, Huynh Thuc Khang, Ngo Duc Ke, Ho Tung Mau, and Hai Trieu.
However, vehicles of local residents and those that carry food and other goods to restaurants and hotels on Nguyen Hue Street are allowed to enter the restricted area.
Vehicles owned by businesses located on the street are also permitted to travel into and out of the banned area to transport goods.
Employees of businesses on Nguyen Hue can ride their motorbikes on the existing sidewalks, which are outside the fence of the prohibited section.
Construction work started on September 11 on the first phase of the project and is expected to finish by March next year.
A section that is 124 meters long and 63 meters wide of Nguyen Hue Street (spanning Le Thanh Ton and Le Loi Streets) and one part that is 220 meters long and 14 meters wide of Le Thanh Ton Street (crossing Pasteur and Dong Khoi Streets) are being upgraded under this first phase.