Unfinished ring roads in HCMC worsen traffic congestions

As planned, Ho Chi Minh City will establish 4 ring roads to ease traffic volume into the city and connect to neighboring provinces more conveniently. Sadly, until now, none of them has been fully finished, severely harming economic activities of the city.

Unfinished ring roads in HCMC worsen traffic congestions ảnh 1

Ring Road No.2 is still waiting to be finished. (Photo: SGGP)

Ring Road No.2 is considered to be exceptionally meaningful to HCMC in reducing the quantity of cargo trucks entering the inner area. Yet, for the past 10 years, the last 13 kilometers of this road is still unable to complete, seriously disrupting the traffic flow to and from the largest sea port of Vietnam – Cat Lat Port.

The construction project for a connecting road between Pham Van Dong Street and Go Dua Intersection on Ring Road No.2 is carried out under the Build-Transfer (BT) model. Its total investment is over VND2,700 billion (approx. US$117.2 million), nearly half of which was delivered in advance by investors for land clearance and compensation tasks.

At present, the project is temporarily halted for investment recheck and land hand-over. It has only finished 43.79 percent of the progress, and 10 percent of the land clearance task is left undone.

Around 5 kilometers from that project, another construction work with the length of 3.8km (from Phu Huu Bridge to Hanoi Highway) is still on paper. This part is now fill with weeds and wild trees. Although the People’s Committee of Thu Duc City (formerly District 9) introduced the compensation task to acquire over 30.5ha land, nothing is carryout out since the project is not greenlighted yet.

The HCMC Department of Transport commented that tardiness in construction work on Ring Road No.2 is due to inefficient land clearance. Therefore, HCMC People’s Committee lately has instructed related state agencies and investors to cooperate in order to tackle problems and speed up all projects to complete this ring road.

Sharing a similar fate are Ring Roads No.3 and 4, which are still waiting for investment approval. These ring roads play extremely important roles in linking HCMC with other regions in the Southern key economic zone.

Cuu Long Corporation for Investment Development and Project Management of Infrastructure (Cuu Long CIPM) – the unit responsible for building projects on Ring Road No.3 – shared that this road has a total length of 98.54km, divided into four sections of Tan Van – Nhon Trach (34.28km), My Phuoc – Tan Van (16.3km), Binh Chuan – National Way No.22 (19.1km), and National Way No.22 – Ben Luc (28.86km).

The road passes HCMC, Binh Duong Province, Dong Nai Province, and Long An Province. It has a total investment amount of over VND35,600 billion ($1.5 billion). Most part of this construction project is still waiting for capital from the State or Official Development Assistance (ODA) sources.

Ring Road No.4 has a length of 197.6km, divided into 5 sections for 5 projects. The last section (from Ben Luc to Hiep Phuoc) was approved to attract investment in 2009. However, since there was no investor found, it was temporarily stopped. In February 2019, the Ministry of Transport directed related state agencies to reactivate the project.

In order to boost the progress of construction projects on both ring roads above, the Ministry of Transport asked that related state units prepare a detailed report on the status of current projects, investment resource identification, and land clearance tasks so that the Government could deliver proper and timely financial help.

Encountering unexpected obstacles for a long time, investors of construction projects on all ring roads have shown signals of exhaustion. They are tiredly waiting for legal procedures to adjust the total investment amount, financial figure updates, revision of unsuitable conditions in BT contracts, and procedure completion of the land signed in these contracts according to conclusion of the State Audit Agency.

Obviously, continuous changes in legal matters related to the projects have put investors into more trouble. Even though the request to halt work until details in the projects are satisfactorily amended is logical, the investors do need the State to speed up this process.

General Director of Van Phu Bac Corp (one investor of these projects) claimed that if the land is available and the finance is stable, it just takes him 18 months to finish his work.