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Da Nang May Get an Underwater Tunnel

Da Nang is considering the construction of a six-lane underwater tunnel crossing the Han River.

If approved, the project would tackle the city’s growing traffic problem, apparently caused by too many stoplights and the fast-increasing number of vehicles in Da Nang. According to Zing, the central city added another 10,000 cars and 40,000 motorbikes in 2015, bringing the total number of vehicles to 57,000 and 700,000, respectively.

In an effort to combat these issues, urban planning consultancy BRITEC has proposed three solutions to the city’s authorities: an overpass connecting Dong Da and Van Don Streets, a bridge connecting Dong Da-Tran Phu to Nguyen Thi Dinh Streets or a tunnel beneath the Han River.

So far, the Da Nang People's Committee and several local experts seem keen to opt for solution number three. Head of the People's Committee Huynh Duc Tho supports the possible tunnel project, pointing out its long-lasting benefits as a counter-argument to the cost, which BRITEC estimates at VND3 trillion for a bridge and VND3.3 trillion for a tunnel.

“Although the budget to dig a tunnel beneath the river is higher than a bridge, the project is feasible and it would be a permanent structure,” Zing quoted BRITEC as saying.

Tran Van Chien, architect and director of a local construction company, also agrees with the tunnel option, citing Da Nang's current abundance of over-water routes.

“There are currently six bridges crossing the Han River and more bridges could look messy,” Chien told Zing.

The central city has yet to decide whether it will be a new bridge or a tunnel which helps to ease traffic congestion. Da Nang will call upon the public to share its opinions on the matter, though some may take issue with such an expensive endeavor, as the city must repay VND1.7 trillion in loans by 2017 and is only earning VND13 trillion in total income this year.

[Photo via Flickr user David Salafia]

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