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MoT requires new funding to upgrade national highways

Update: January, 13/2014 - 08:50
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HA NOI (VNS)— The transport sector needs some VND3 trillion (US$142 million) for road maintenance this year, according to the Ministry of Transport's Viet Nam Road Administration acting general director Nguyen Duc Thang.

Currently, the department oversees 19,100 kilometres of roads, consisting of 119 highway routes. Of these, 10,000 kilometres were overdue for maintenance, while more than 2,500 kilometres are scheduled for repair. Also, some 400 bridges are in need of being rebuilt or upgraded.

According to Thang, last year the department had taken a series of measures to protect road surfaces and their safety corridors, such as digging and building drainage on highways, using new technology for building bridges and regulating overloaded trucks. This helped save trillions of dong, said Thang.

However, the increase in traffic, damage caused by overloaded trucks and the erosions of roads caused by storms have resulted in problems for maintenance crews.

In fact, the road maintenance fund of VND4.1 billion ($192,700) only covers 40 per cent of the country's demand for repairing and upgrading transport infrastructures, he said.

Thang added that the demands for road repair and construction along highway routes remain very large, while the capital fund for road maintenance is limited. Thus, it was necessary to create plans that prioritised regulating areas with recurring traffic accidents and deteriorating roads.

The department will strengthen the quality of management of local road management departments by tendering the maintenance management of about 20 per cent of highways. Also, the department is to replace or add road signs at dangerous locations and divert overloaded trucks to minimise road damage.

Further, the department required the transport units to calculate regular maintenance costs of highways, bridges and tunnels to report to the department. Major highways with heavy traffic flows would receive priority for regular maintenance, he said.

In terms of weakened bridges, the department has received the ministry's approval to re-examine major bridges nationwide and repair weakened bridges using new technologies that adapt plastic cables to reinforce bridges and strengthen their load carrying capacities.

Last year, as many as 80 weakened bridges along national highways were repaired and upgraded with the new technologies, saving about VND1 trillion ($47 million). — VNS

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