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$316 million undersea tunnel planned in Ha Long City

The northeastern coastal province of Quang Ninh, home to the UNESCO heritage site Ha Long Bay, is seeking to build a 1.3km undersea tunnel “at the doorstep” of the world-renowned site.

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Bai Chay Bridge in Ha Long City connects the two straits of the Cua Luc Bay that leads to the Ha Long Bay. An undersea tunnel is expected to be built under the bridge to reduce traffic pressure on the bridge.

Provincial authorities said they are facilitating the completion of the report on the planned project to be submitted to the Prime Minister for approval. If the Government gives permission, the project can commence as soon as early 2019, and is scheduled for completion in four years.

The undersea tunnel is part of the 2.1km Cua Luc tunnel project aimed at easing the increasing traffic load on Bãi Cháy Bridge.

The bridge, built in 2006 to replace the outdated Bãi Cháy ferry, remains the sole way for vehicles to travel between the two straits of the narrow Cua Luc Bay. Besides the mounting traffic pressure, ensuring safety and uninterrupted flow of economic activities even during heavy storms is a high priority; hence the need for an underground passage, according to the provincial authorities.

The tunnel will start on Hạ Long Street, at the intersection that leads into Sun World Ha Long Park (Bai Chay Ward), and end at the intersection on Le Thanh Tong Street (Hong Gai Ward) – two streets considered as “main axes” on two sides of the Cua Luc Bay.

Total investment for the ambitious project is estimated at VNĐ7.875 trillion (US$346.5 million), nearly six times what has been poured into Bãi Cháy Bridge.

Nguyen Van Doc, secretary of the Quang Ninh Province Party Committee, said this was a “key project.” However, the project remained at the “ideation stage” so the Party Committee still needed to collect feedback to consolidate its pre-feasibility report.

He told the consulting agency to survey carefully the geographical conditions of the site and the start and end points of the tunnel.

Quang Ninh Province Party Committee agreed to a six-lane design of the tunnel and its direction.

Doc said after the pre-feasibility report had been completed, details of the project would be made public and opinions would be sought. 

Source: VietNamNet

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