Ho Chi Minh City struggles with ineffective flyovers


Multiple flyovers in Ho Chi Minh City designed to alleviate traffic in the southern metropolis are proving ineffective against the city’s growing congestion.


Authorities in the southern metropolis are planning to construct more than 100 overpasses at local traffic hotspots by 2020 in a bid to reduce traffic jams, though many of the structures already put into operation have failed to meet expectations.


Out of 13 flyovers built over the past five years, only those at Cay Go Roundabout in District 11 and the Nguyen Tri Phuong – 3/2 intersection in District 10 have shown positive results in minimizing gridlock in their respective areas.


Four other overpasses in Binh Tan District have also played their part in reducing average commutes from 60 minutes to 20 minutes.


Others construction projects, however, have fallen short of expectations, namely the flyover at Lang Cha Ca Roundabout in Tan Binh District near the entrance of Tan Son Nhat International Airport.


Local residents still consider commuting through the traffic circle an agonizing journey complete with snail-paced traffic, heavy volumes of vehicle exhaust, and a high risk of traffic accidents.


Despite the frequent intervention by traffic police, the area’s streets are still in chaos, said Nguyen Thanh Binh, who works near Lang Cha Ca.


At Thu Duc Intersection located in the namesake district, a flyover only provides a smooth journey for vehicles traveling on the structure while surrounding streets such as Le Van Viet and Vo Van Ngan remain gridlocked.


Meanwhile, a recently constructed overpass at the Hoang Minh Giam-Nguyen Thai Son intersection in Phu Nhuan District is seldom used by commuters, even during rush hour.


Truong Son Street in Tan Binh District is still overwhelmed by a large number of vehicles despite the new flyover that provides direct access to the domestic and international terminals at Tan Son Nhat.



Heavy congestion on the streets and flyover at Lang Cha Ca Roundabout in Tan Binh District, Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Tuoi Tre  


Flyovers alone are not enough


The municipal Department of Transport has already proposed constructing several flyovers at Dan Chu Square in District 3, the Truong Chinh-Cong Hoa intersection in Tan Binh District, and other locations throughout the city.


Local experts pointed out that building an overpass alone does not guarantee the alleviation of traffic jams.


A complete traffic knot with carefully planned overpasses and underpasses is necessary to achieve the most effective outcome, they said, adding that these constructions must be based on real situations.


According to Nguyen Van Tam, most flyovers in the southern hub currently serve as temporary measures.


Until the metro system in the city is finished, complete traffic knots must be established to ease bottlenecks.


The official also highlighted the fact that several flyover projects are being delayed.


The Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee has tasked the municipal Department of Planning and Architecture with identifying the most appropriate solution to each traffic hotspot in the city.


A special mechanism should also be applied to expedite important projects, including investment channels, site clearance, and related administrative procedures, Tam stated.


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