Authorities in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam’s commercial capital, are set to spend US$74M building a 1.6km long tunnel under the Saigon river as part of the city’s planned 21.8km East-West highway.

Details of the cost of the 33.5m wide road tunnel were contained in a technical report prepared by engineering consultant, Japan’s Pacific Consultant International (PCI), submitted to the city’s transport and public work service in late December.

PCI is continuing to work on detailed designs which are due for completion in April ready for construction to start in November with completion in 38 months.

According to PCI, the cost of the tunnel includes lighting, ventilation, closed circuit television surveillance, emergency telephones and associated systems.

The highway, when completed, will connect Binh Chanh in the west and District 2 in the east. About 73% of the cost of the scheme is being provided by the Japan Bank for International Co-operation.