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In Transition: The Road

Good roads make for good cities

 

A decade ago Hanoi was a university study for urban planning students across the world. Why? Because the city had been built piecemeal over 1,000 years without any overall sense of design. Even the French screwed up — it was a mess.

 

Since then the authorities have gone to great lengths to overhaul the city's infrastructure. Not for the sake of university students, but to make the transportation network conform to the needs of a modern city.

 

The latest project is the Vo Chi Cong road extension from the recently completed Nhat Tan Bridge to Cau Giay. It’s a road that stretches past Ciputra and Lac Long Quan before tracing the route presently occupied by Duong Buoi.

 

When we arrived to take a look, one of the road surveyors told us that the section connecting Duong Buoi to Nhat Tan was 10 days away from completion. Part of the on-the-ground project management team, the man we spoke to was checking the road foundations to ensure a particular section was ready for tarmac.

 

“The whole project won’t be completed until January,” he added. “We’re trying to open the road before Tet.”

 

Projects

 

In the past three years, the opening of new roads like the Vanh Dai 3 overpass from Thanh Tri Bridge to Cau Giay has helped relieve the build-up of traffic in the capital. Other projects like overpasses and the extension of thoroughfares such as Tran Phu have had an equally positive effect — they’ve decreased bottlenecks.

 

Which all means that while the Vo Chi Cong project will leave much destruction in its wake, its overall effect will be to benefit the city.

 

Modern cities need good roads and Hanoi has aspirations. It wants and needs to be a modern city. — Nick Ross

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