HCM City-Trung Lương-Mỹ Thuận expressway needs to widen to eight lanes: Road directorate

August 28, 2022 - 16:13
Directorate for Roads of Việt Nam proposed that the Ministry of Transport study the plan of widening the HCM City - Trung Lương and Trung Lương - Mỹ Thuận expressways as per the planning approved by the Government.




Trung Lương-Mỹ Thuận expressway. — VNA/VNS Photo Hữu Chí





HCM CITY — The upgrading and expansion of the HCM City-Trung Lương-Mỹ Thuận expressway to eight lanes has become an urgent need of the more than 10 million people in the Cửu Long (Mekong) Delta region.

All three localities – Tiền Giang Province, Long An Province, and HCM City – where the expressway passes through have sent the Prime Minister an official proposal of investing to expand phase 2 of this expressway.

According to a report of the Directorate for Roads of Việt Nam (DRVN), traffic on the HCM City-Trung Lương expressway increased sharply after toll collection was stopped since the beginning of 2019, reaching 52,000 vehicles a day and more on holiday.

Increased traffic caused frequent congestion and vehicles used emergency lanes creating a high risk for traffic accidents.

"The traffic capacity of this route is very low. The average operating speed has dropped to 60-70km per hour as compared to the designed speed of 120km per hour," said a leader of the DRVN.

Meanwhile, the Trung Lương - Mỹ Thuận route, the first phase, was designed with a speed of 80kph and four lanes.

The route does not have a continuous emergency stop lane, but only staggered emergency stops in every 4-5 km.

According to Trung Lương-Mỹ Thuận BOT Joint Stock Company, within three months of operating without toll collection from April 30 to August 3, the expressway has served more than 2.2 million vehicles, with peak traffic of up to 30,000 vehicles per day.

It was clear that although this important arterial road of the Cửu Long Delta region has just completed the phase 1, it helped to ease traffic on National Highway 1 passing through Tiền Giang Province and helped accelerate connection and economic development in the region.

However, in order to fully meet the travel and freight needs of the people and the socio-economic development requirements of the localities in the region, it is necessary to soon expand the expressway to eight lanes, including two lanes for emergency stops.

In August this year, the DRVN proposed that the Ministry of Transport study the plan of widening the HCM City - Trung Lương and Trung Lương - Mỹ Thuận expressways as per the planning approved by the Government.

Accordingly, the Ministry of Transport was assigned to evaluate the proposal on expanding the expressways by the People’s committees of HCM City, Tiền Giang and Long An provinces, and Đèo Cả Group.

On August 22, the ministry had a meeting with the representatives of the three committees, the Ministry of Planning and Investment, the Ministry of Finance, and Đèo Cả Group discussing in details the proposal.

At this meeting, the Ministry of Transport, DRVN and localities all agreed on the need to immediately invest in phase 2 of the two expressways to connect with other routes to bolster the economic development in the region.

The relevant parties were asked to further study and report to the Government next month.

Regarding the investment plan, the parties have agreed to study and implement two independent projects to facilitate investment management and capital attraction.

The HCM City - Trung Lương Expressway needs initial investment of VNĐ8.2 trillion (US$350.8 million) for phase 2 under a public-private partnership (PPP).

For the Trung Lương-Mỹ Thuận Expressway, the preliminary investment in phase 2 is about VNĐ9.5 trillion (US$406.5 million) under a build-operation-transfer (BOT). — VNS