Construction has commenced on two sets of underpasses on the roads running parallel to Hanoi Highway that connects Ho Chi Minh City with Bien Hoa City in Dong Nai Province.

major highway connecting Saigon and Dong Nai
Major highway connecting Saigon and Dong Nai

The underpasses are developed by Ho Chi Minh City Infrastructure Investment Company (CII), which started its works on Saturday.

The underpasses are part of a plan to expand Hanoi Highway by opening two new roads running parallel to it on either direction.

Each parallel road will have two underpasses built at its intersections with the Tram 2 Overpass near Suoi Tien Theme Park in District 9.

The parallel road on the left of the highway runs 780 meters long with 92 meters of underpasses, while the one on the right measures 1,020 meters long with 120 meters of underpasses.

Each underpass will have a cross-section width of 13.5 meters, including areas reserved for maintenance.

On Saturday, the developer also began building spur roads connecting to the parallel roads, installing drainage and lighting systems, and planting trees along the routes.

According to Nguyen Thanh Nam, a senior CII official who oversees the Hanoi Highway expansion project, the underpasses would allow unobstructed flow of traffic on the highway and reduce traffic congestion in the area.

Expected to be finished in August 2018, the project costs VND165.4 billion (US$7.29 million).

Hanoi Highway, formerly known as Bien Hoa Highway, is a 31-kilometer road running from Hang Xanh Intersection in Ho Chi Minh City to Tam Hiep Intersection in Bien Hoa City, Dong Nai Province.

First built in 1961, the highway underwent a major expansion in 2009, raising its cross-section width from 21 meters to 142 meters.