HCM City plans to build a modern footbridge across the Sai Gon River that will have conveyors for the elderly and the disabled as well as stopovers for admiring the river-view.
HCM CITY —
The bridge will link downtown HCM City with the Thu Thiem New Urban Area.
Trang Bao Son, deputy head of Thu Thiem New Urban Area Management Board, said at a press briefing last Thursday that the city People's Committee has approved the location of the proposed foot-bridge.
It will start at the end of Dong Khoi Street in District 1 and end south of the Central Square in District 2, he said.
The S-shaped bridge, 360m long and 80-200m wide with a navigational clearance of 10m, will have stopovers where pedestrians can get a good view of the Sai Gon River.
It will also have sunscreens and conveyors to give access to elderly people, children and the disabled.
The bridge will have tilting tower-columns resembling Vietnamese bamboo grasses, offering an open view of the surrounding landscape. Safety measures and solutions to evacuate large numbers of people gathering on the foot-bridge during festivals will be incorporated into the designing process.
The foot-bridge project is one of two proposed at an April meeting of relevant agencies and departments, and is based on an idea mooted by France-based Deso Consulting Co., the first-prize winner of the Thu Thiem New Urban Area's Central Square and Riverbank Park Design Competition.
The bridge not only aims to ease traffic pressure as the population increases on the west bank of the Sai Gon, but also meet sightseeing needs of city residents, Son said. It would also become a popular spot for tourists, he added.
Work on the second foot-bridge, which will connect Binh Thanh District with the northern side of the Central Square, will begin after the square has been built, unlike the first one, which will be completed earlier.
The municipal People's Committee has agreed to separate the foot-bridge project into an independent bidding package from the initial Central Square-Riverbank Park-Pedestrian Bridge package.
The committee has assigned the Dang Co-Bac Viet joint venture and Indochina Capital group to carry out research on the project and make proposals.
The joint venture is considering adding more national cultural traits to the bridge's architecture before it submits the plans for approval in September.
People's Committee Chairman Le Hoang Quan has said the first-ever foot-bridge will play an important role in ensuring future modern architectural works will be in harmony with urban spaces and landscapes while guaranteeing absolute safety for pedestrians.
Son of the Thu Thiem New Urban Area Management Board said that ways would be found to connect the foot-bridge with public and private means of transportation so residents can easily access the site.
River that will connect District 1 and 2 was currently under construction.
When the tunnel becomes operational, the stretch of Ton Duc Thang Street from Khanh Hoi Bridge to Ba Son Shipyard will become a pedestrian-only area, he said.
Meanwhile, it is planned that the Me Linh Square (near the end of Dong Khoi Street) will host bus, metro and tram stations.
The Central Square project plan also envisages the construction of parking spaces to the east of the first foot-bridge.
This would enable people to use the bridge round the clock, Son said.
Although most city residents do not have the habit of walking to different destinations in the city, it would become popular when adequate facilities are available.
This will happen in the near future when inner-city seaports are removed and the landscape of the western side of Sai Gon River improved with green spaces created along District 1, Son said.
To the east of Sai Gon River, the Central Square will become a vast public place capable of accommodating hundreds of thousands of people during festivals or major events. — VNS