- Published on Thursday, 16 February 2017 19:00
- Written by Saigoneer. Photo by Brandon Coleman.
Saigon’s historic Quach Thi Trang roundabout in front of Ben Thanh Market will soon be no more.
According to Zing, the iconic traffic circle will be destroyed in order to accommodate the subterranean construction of HCMC Metro’s Ben Thanh-Suoi Tien Line terminus.
The Ho Chi Minh City Department of Transport announced earlier today that the roundabout, along with nearby Ben Thanh bus station, will be closed to vehicle traffic as of Saturday, February 18.
City officials previously announced the closure of the roundabout in October 2016, though only portions of 23/9 Park were closed off for construction. However recent activity around the Ben Thanh area suggests today’s news will bring visible changes to Quach Thi Trang roundabout and the surrounding streets. Municipal authorities have already announced minor road closures and changes to Yersin, Pham Ngu Lao, Ky Con and Tran Hung Dao Streets.
The Ben Thanh-Suoi Tien terminus will consist of four underground levels and is expected to reach 40 meters below ground, extending from Quach Thi Trang roundabout into nearby 23/9 Park. A subterranean tunnel will also link the Ben Thanh metro station with its counterpart beneath the Opera House underneath Le Loi Street. According to VnExpress, the complex will have entrances in 23/9 Park and outside Ben Thanh Market as well as entrances on Pham Ngu Lao, Ham Nghi and Phan Chu Trinh Streets.
In 2020, once subterranean construction is complete, the above-ground portion of Quach Thi Trang will become a plaza, according to city planners. The area where the Zing once stood will be transformed into a skylight for the underground complex below.
HCMC Metro Line 1’s final phase began in late 2016 and is expected to cost VND4.85 trillion (US$213.3 million), Zing reports.