|A launching ceremony was held on Saturday for construction work on a 18.8km section of the 57.1km Ben Luc-Long Thanh Expressway. — VNA/VNS Photo Hoang Hai
HCM CITY (VNS) — Construction of an 18.7-km section of the Ben Luc-Long Thanh Expressway, which will run through HCM City and Long An Province, began on Saturday.
The project includes three intersections at Ben Luc-Long Thanh Expressway and HCM City-Trung Luong Expressway, National Highway No 1A, and National Highway No 50, according to the developer Expressway Viet Nam Expressway Corporation (VEC).
With a total length of 57.1 km, the Ben Luc-Long Thanh Expressway runs through Long An Province's Ben Luc and Can Giuoc districts; Binh Chanh, Nha Be and Can Gio Districts in HCM City and Nhon Trach and Long Thanh districts in Dong Nai Province.
The section is part of the national north-south expressway.
The road includes a total of 20km of bridges, including the 3-km long Binh Khanh Bridge that crosses Soai Rap River and the 3.2-km Phuoc Khanh Bridge over the Long Tau River.
With four lanes, Ben Luc-Long Thanh Expressway can allow vehicles to run at a maximum speed of 100 kph.
When completed, the expressway will facilitate transportation between the south-eastern region and the Mekong Delta without running through HCM City, thus helping to reduce traffic congestion on National Highway No 1A in HCM City and National Highway No 51 in Dong Nai Province.
Mai Tuan Anh, general director of VEC, said the expressway would connect the country's expressway and highway networks with major seaports in the south such as Thi Vai-Cai Mep and Sao Mai-Ben Dinh, and the planned Long Thanh International Airport.
It will also help ease traffic pressure and reduce the number of traffic accidents on National Highway No 1A and National Highway No 51 and at the same time reduce the travel time between Long An, Dong Nai and Ba Ria-Vung Tau provinces.
Once put into operation, the expressway will be part of the Asian Highway from Bangkok via Phnom Penh to HCM City and Vung Tau in Viet Nam.
The project will benefit HCM City, Dong Nai and Long An, the southeast region and the Mekong Delta and at the same time create favourable conditions for economic development in southern provinces, said Pham Van Ranh, deputy chairman of Long An Province People's Committee.
Investment required for this section of the expressway amounts to VND31.3 trillion (US$1.608 billion), said VEC during the groundbreaking ceremony of Ben Luc-Long Thanh Expressway on July 19 last year. Speaking at the ceremony, Deputy Minister for Transport Nguyen Ngoc Dong said Viet Nam has 750km of expressway and the figure is expected to increase to 2,000km by 2020. — VNS