he second part of the first metro project in Vietnam – the 19.7 km Ben Thanh-Suoi Tien metro line – broke ground in Ho Chi Minh City on Friday, the HCMC Urban Railway Management Board said.
This part belongs to the project’s package 1b that is valued at ¥23.17 billion (US$229.1 million) and is implemented by the Japanese consortium contractor Shimizu-Meada.
This section of the line is 1.8 km long, stretching from under the Municipal Theater to an area below Ba Son Enterprise in District 1.
As part of the package, an underground four-floor terminal will also be built under the theater. This facility will be 190 meters long, 26 meters wide and 40 meters deep.
It is expected to be completed in March 2015.
In August 2012, the first part of the Ben Thanh-Suoi Tien line was built, an aboveground portion 17.1 km long.
The metro line, the first in Vietnam, is estimated to cost $2.49 billion and designed to be 19.7 km long, running from District 1 through Binh Thanh District, District 2, District 9 and Thu Duc District in HCMC before reaching Di An Town in neighboring Binh Duong Province.
Of the total length, 2.6 km will run underground with three stations, while the remaining portion will be constructed aboveground with another 11 stations.
The metro line is scheduled to be completed in 2017 and put into operation in 2018, serving about 620,000 passengers per day, the HCMC Transport Department said.