People flock back to Ho Chi Minh City after Tet, causing serious congestion

February 15, 2016 | 10:04
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An influx of people have been returning to Ho Chi Minh City after they visited their hometown for Tet (Lunar New Year) celebration, bringing about serious traffic jams on an arterial national highway and several others throughout Saturday, the sixth day of the festival.

National Highway 1, which runs through several Mekong Delta provinces, experienced serious congestion since people and their vehicles peaked on the day.

Most office workers will resume work on Monday, as the Tet festival, which began on February 8, is drawing to an end.

Tran Quoc Dung, a local, said that the arterial highway experienced traffic constriction since early Saturday morning.

Prolonged gridlock occurred yesterday afternoon on a National Highway 1 section that snakes through Cai Be District in Tien Giang Province.

Hordes of motorcyclist, coach and truck drivers found themselves stuck in long lines at the two ends of the An Cu and Rach Mieu Bridges in the district.

It took them dozens of minutes to travel a distance of just 30 meters.

Several spots along the highway section traversing Tien Giang are currently prone to congestion, including streets leading to and from narrow bridges such as Ba Dac and My Duc Tay in Cai Be District; and My Quy and Nhi My in Cai Lay District.

Many locals have been angered by peddlers on the section through Hoa Hung Commune in Cai Be, who occupy parts of the road and obscure drivers’ visibility.

A crash had happened between a passenger bus and motorbike on this stretch, killing two people.

Another jam stretched for over two kilometers for hours on a section of National Highway 62 in Thanh Hoa District in Long An Province.

A number of people, including women with young children, sought shelter beneath shady canopies and waited until the road was cleared to resume their journey.

Residents explained that drivers took National Highway 62 as a detour to avoid the crowded National Highway 1A, but they did not fare any better.

A traffic jam also occurred on a section of about two kilometers at the traffic lights on a street leading to the Ho Chi Minh City-Trung Luong Expressway and National Highway 1.

The national highway section in Tien Giang Province also experienced relentless congestion on Thursday and Friday, or the fourth and fifth day of the Tet festival.

Traffic was painstakingly slow on National Highway 60 in the direction from Ben Tre Province to Tien Giang Province.

Senior Lieutenant Colonel Nguyen Van Dung, deputy head of Tien Giang Province’s Police Department, told Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper that many traffic police officers have been mobilized to the scenes to handle the jams, which are forecast to continue in the coming days.

Similarly, traffic flow was congested from early Saturday morning on National Highway 1 sections in Vinh Long Province.

Many bikers took rest and snapped photos on the Can Tho and My Thuan Bridges, exacerbating the chaotic traffic situation on the bridges.

Vinh Long Province’s railway and road police department has confirmed that traffic was heavy throughout the province on Saturday compared to a few previous days.

However, congestion did not occur on streets, they said.

The department has assigned forces to better control traffic on National Highways 1, 53 and 54.

Security staff of the My Thuan Bridge, one of the Mekong Delta’s major structures, will deal with peddlers and inadvertently parking motorcyclists who worsen the traffic flow on the bridge.

People have also had much difficulty traveling through Truong Xuan Commune, Thap Muoi District, Dong Thap Province.

The Vam Cong Ferry Station in An Giang Province has operated to its full capacity to carry passengers, but hundreds of motorbikes still lined up for one to two kilometers under the blazing heat.

Motorbikes line up at the Vam Cong Ferry Station in An Giang Province. Photo: Tuoi Tre

Prolonged traffic jams in the scorching heat on National Highway 1 on Saturday took the heaviest toll on infants
and young children. Photo:Tuoi Tre

People flocking back to Ho Chi Minh City from Mekong Delta provinces after the Tet (Lunar New Year) holiday
caused traffic congestion on February 13, 2016. Photo: Tuoi Tre

Many take shelter and wait until the road is cleared before moving on. Photo: Tuoi Tre

Another jam is seen on a shortcut to National Highway 1A. Photo:Tuoi Tre


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