|Vehicles travel through the Hai Van Tunnel. The new tunnel will allow vehicles to travel in separate tunnels following upgrade work. — VNS Photo Doan Tung
HA NOI (VNS) — The Ministry of Transport (MOT), along with Phu Yen and Khanh Hoa provincial authorities, started work yesterday on the opening of the VND15.6 trillion (US$726 million) Deo Ca Tunnel on National Route 1A.
The tunnel will be 3,900m long, consisting of 2 single tunnels, each with two 3.5m lanes. The speed limit will be 80kmh. Construction on the tunnel started in 2012 under the management of Deo Ca Investment JSC.
When complete the tunnel will shorten the distance between the two provinces by 8km, cutting the travel time in half and alleviating heavy traffic.
The project is scheduled for completion by the end of 2016 and should open in early 2017.
In related news, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung approved a project to upgrade the Hai Van Tunnel, which connects Hue and Da Nang.
The Hai Van Tunnel was built 10 years ago with its original design only included a single tunnel for two traffic lanes and no guard rails. With heavy traffic through the tunnel ensuring safety inside has become increasingly difficult.
There were also other problems such as traffic jams, congestion and fire hazards.
"Upgrading the tunnel will allow vehicles moving in different directions to travel on separate lanes in separate tunnels," a representative from the MOT told the Giao Thong (Transport) newspaper.
The project has a total alignment length of 12.6km. Japanese consulting firm Nippon Koei proposed the tunnel be constructed from the existing rescue tunnel. It should cost VND6 trillion ($277 million).
If approved, the project would start during the first quarter of 2016 and be completed in about three years.
Highway project proposed
In a recent development, Project Management Unit 6 had submitted a feasibility study on a highway project that would connect Bai Vot and Vung Ang in central Ha Tinh Province to the MOT as a part of the North-South Highway.
The 88km-long project would be constructed using the Build-Operate-Transfer method, with a total investment of VND12.5 trillion (US$578 million). It aims to reduce the travel time between the country's northern and central regions, relieve traffic pressure on National Route 1A and boost the regions' socio-economic development. — VNS