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Cracks, subsidence plagues newly inaugurated highway

Update: May, 30/2014 - 08:44
According to a Vietnam News Agency reporter, a 9-kilometre-long road from the Don Dien area to Zone 2 in Ha Long City has suffered road-surface subsidence in the lane for heavy trucks.— Photo Nguyen Hoang

QUANG NINH (VNS) — A 30-kilometre section of National Highway 18 running through northern Quang Ninh Province has been downgraded due to cracks and subsidence on the road only two weeks after its inauguration.

The project of upgrading the section connecting Uong Bi City and Ha Long City officially opened for traffic on May 18. Ocean BOT JSC, the project's investor, had spent a total investment capital of more than VND2.8 trillion (US$133 million).

According to a Vietnam News Agency reporter, a 9-kilometre-long road from the Don Dien area to Zone 2 in Ha Long City has suffered road-surface subsidence in the lane for heavy trucks.

Serious subsidence has also been seen at some points along the road of Ha Khau Ward of Ha Long City. Some parts were estimated to be up to six centimetres lower than the road surface, running for a length of between three and five metres.

Vu Ngoc The, a resident in Ha Khau Ward, said that the subsidence had occurred one month ago, before the section was put into operation, noting that it became worse with each passing day.

The subsidence has caused holes, which are dangerous for drivers, he said.

Nguyen Hong Duong, deputy director of the provincial Department of Transport, claimed that the department had regularly supervised the process of upgrading the highway.

When the department had previously discovered cracks and subsidence on the road surface, it would typically report to the Ministry of Transport to ask the project investor to repair the section in question.

The project of upgrading the Uong Bi-Ha Long section of National Highway 18 began construction in mid October 2011 and was completed after three years.

The four-lane road was designed for vehicles travelling at 80 kilometres per hour.

A fee toll is being planned and will go into effect on June 1, with fees ranging from VND30,000 ($1.4) to VND160,000 ($7.6) at every turn. — VNS

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