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Saigon Will Spend $4bn on New Roads, Bridges in Hopes of Curbing Traffic Congestion

By 2020, 82 mostly state-funded projects will add nearly 190 kilometers of roads and 39 bridges to the southern metropolis.

The Ho Chi Minh City People's Committee announced the plans last week that aim to curb traffic jams while reducing road fatalities by 5%. The VND96 trillion (US$4.12 billion) cost will be paid by official development assistance (ODA) fund and the central budget with public-private partnerships contributing VND8.26 trillion for 10 projects. The bridge and road projects will be spread out over the next three years.

The plan also hopes to increase public transportation services in order to satisfy 15% of resident's needs by 2020. To do so, the city will build new stations and repair old ones, expand routes, establish more parking options and add natural gas buses to their fleet. 

Saigon's traffic problems are familiar to anyone who has spent any time in the city. Numerous solutions have been proposed throughout the years including limiting vehicles in downtown areas, halting construction of new high-rise buildings in the city center, building new roads, implementing a cable car, and of course the much-delayed metro. As car ownership booms, and Saigon's sky get increasingly smoggy, it's certain that something must be done.

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