|The transport ministry held a ceremony yesterday to open the Ha Noi-Bac Giang Expressway to traffic. The highway is 46km long and has a speed limit of 100km per hour. — VNA/VNS Photo Duong Tri
HA NOI (VNS) — The Ha Noi-Bac Giang Expressway opened to traffic yesterday after 18 months of construction and upgrade work and six months ahead of schedule.
The 46km expressway was built under a BOT (build-operate-transfer) model for a total investment of VND4.2 trillion (US$197.4 million).
The highway stretches from Km 113+985 National Highway 1 in the northern Bac Giang Province to Km159+100 National Highway 1 in Gia Lam District, Ha Noi City, and has a speed limit of 100km per hour.
The Ha Noi-Bac Giang Expressway project will handle the increased traffic between Ha Noi City, Bac Ninh Province and Bac Giang Province; reduce accidents and traffic congestion on National Highway 1; and contribute to socio-economic development.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc hailed the efforts made by relevant agencies, especially the transport ministry, for the early completion of this important project, which would help to enhance trade ties with China.
Given that the state budget was limited, the transport ministry sought investors to build the Ha Noi-Bac Giang section and a 100km section stretching from Bac Giang to Lang Son Province under the BOT model, Phuc said.
He also hailed Bac Giang and Bac Ninh authorities for their efforts to implement site clearance, and said other localities should learn from the two provinces' experiences.
"We are grateful to the local people who gave their houses and land to make way for the expressway," Phuc said.
The Deputy PM asked Bac Ninh, Bac Giang and Lang Son provinces to collaborate with each other to develop their industrial, trade and services sectors, in order to make the best use of the road and to effectively exploit the Chinese market that has more than one billion people.
The road has to be maintained efficiently to ensure its quality, making the Ha Noi-Bac Giang section a model for other arteries, Phuc said.
The Deputy PM said localities should take efforts to prevent road accidents, helping the National Committee on Traffic Safety to reduce the number of deaths and injuries caused by road accidents.
Opened in 2001, the Ha Noi-Bac Giang road was in very poor condition and witnessed heavy traffic congestion. — VNS