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Key highway section to open on May 19

Update: April, 14/2015 - 09:18
A 22.7-km section of the 105-km Ha Noi-Hai Phong expressway running between Hai Duong and Hai Phong will open to traffic on May 19. The project's investor has proposed a toll of VND1,500 (US 7 cents), to be raised to VND2,000 (US 9 cents) per km in 2016 for each car or van. — VNA/VNS Photo Lam Khanh

HA NOI (VNS) — Ha Noi-Hai Phong Highway will open to the public between Hai Duong and Hai Phong on May 19.

The project's investor, the Viet Nam Infrastructure Development and Finance Investment Joint Stock Company (VIDIFI), asked for permission to collect tolls starting from that date. The firm's general director, Nguyen Van Tinh, said the toll would be the same as on the Noi Bai-Lao Cai, Ben Luc-Long Thanh and Cau Gie-Ninh Binh highways.

The proposed fee would be VND1,500 (US 7 cents) per kilometre. The opening section is 22.7km, which adds up to VND35,000 (US$1.65) for vans with 12 seats or less, and VND180,000 ($8.5) for buses and container trucks weighing more than 18 tonnes. But the fee would rise in 2016 to VND2,000 ($9 cents) per kilometre for each car or van.

The rest of the Ha Noi-Hai Phong Highway, about 76km long, should open by August. The project is lagging four years behind its original proposal's estimates. Transport Minister Dinh La Thang asked the investor to complete the project by the end of this year.

Not happy

Nguyen Duong, a resident of Ha Noi, said he would be willing to pay the toll if the road was well-made and shortened his travel time. But not everyone reacted so positively.

"Why do I have to pay more tolls when I already pay a road maintenance fee every year?" said Vu Ha, also a resident of Ha Noi.

The Ha Noi-Hai Phong Highway Project started in 2008 with an investment capital of more than VND47 trillion (US$2.2 billion). The 105km-long highway was designed for speeds of up to 120kph.

The average width of the cross section is 100m, with six travel lanes, two emergency lanes, a median strip and greenery strips on both sides of the expressway. It also has frontage roads where necessary. As designed, the highway will include an intelligent traffic control system and an automatic toll-collection system. — VNS

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