HCMC – The Ben Tre Province Department of Transport is speeding up work on the Rach Mieu ferry terminal project, which will connect the two Mekong Delta provinces of Ben Tre and Tien Giang, so that local residents can use the ferry service before January 27 next year, or two weeks before Tet, said a local official.
Cao Minh Duc, director of the Ben Tre Province Department of Transport, said that the roads leading to the ferry terminal are now nearing completion. The government of Chau Thanh District in Ben Tre is in charge of the construction.
Once the project is completed, three ferries will be operated continuously during days before and after the Lunar New Year, or Tet, to carry passengers across the Tien River.
The development of this temporary ferry terminal, which costs some VND100 billion in investment, is aimed at coping with frequent traffic congestion facing the Rach Mieu Bridge, which spans the Tien River and connects the two provinces. The ferry terminal is located some 10 kilometers away from the bridge.
In 2009, the Rach Mieu Bridge was opened to traffic, replacing the operation of the old Rach Mieu ferry terminal. However, several years later, the number of vehicles travelling on the bridge surged sharply, often leaving the bridge severely overloaded, especially during holidays.
According to a BOT Rach Mieu Bridge Company representative, the bridge was designed to serve a daily volume of 3,000-6,000 vehicles, but the current number of vehicles using the bridge has soared to 18,000.
Given this situation, the two provinces came up with a plan to build a second bridge crossing the Tien River to ease the traffic congestion. The plan was quickly approved by the Government but it still remains on paper.
Therefore, the authority of Ben Tre decided to seek approval to build the temporary Rach Mieu ferry terminal to cope with the traffic congestion facing the current Rach Mieu Bridge while waiting for the Rach Mieu 2 Bridge project to be implemented.