|A 20km section of the HCM City - Long Thanh - Dau Giay Expressway opened to traffic yesterday. The opening is expected to help reduce traffic congestion on National Highway 1A. — VNA/VNS Photo Hoang Hai
HCM CITY (VNS) — A 20-km section of the HCM City-Long Thanh-Dau Giay Expressway opened to traffic yesterday.
The section running from Ring Road II in District 9 to National Highway 51 in neighbouring Dong Nai Province's Long Thanh District has six lanes, including two for emergency stops.
It is expected to reduce congestion on National Highway 1A, Mai Tuan Anh, director general of the Viet Nam Expressway Corporation (VEC), the operator of the highway, said.
It shortens the distance from HCM City to Long Thanh from 45km to 22km and the travelling time from one hour to 20 minutes, he said.
It also reduces the HCM City - Vung Tau distance from 120km to 95km and the travelling time from more than 2.5 hours to 80 minutes.
To travel from HCM City to Dau Giay T-Junction in Dong Nai will also take only 80 minutes now instead of the earlier 2.5 hours as the distance has shrunken from 70km to 20km.
Cars, buses, and trucks of less than 10 tonnes are allowed to use the highway now, and charged a toll of VND40,000-80,000.
The section was built by China Road and Bridge Corporation, a joint venture between Civil Engineering Construction Corporation Nos.6 and 8, and Korea's Posco Engineering & Construction Co Ltd.
A joint venture between Nippon Koei Co Ltd, KRI International Corporation, Hafico Group Holding, and Mekong Economics is the design consultant.
Work on the 55-km HCM City- Long Thanh- Dau Giay Expressway began in October 2009.
The expressway, which will pass through the proposed Long Thanh International Airport, is budgeted to cost more than US$997 million, of which $276.8 million has been provided by the Asian Development Bank, $640.3 million will come from the Japan International Cooperation Agency, and the rest by the Vietnamese Government.
"The project is of great significance in promoting the development of the southern key economic area, supporting socio-economic development and national security, and improving the standard of life of residents in the southern region," Deputy Minister of Transport Nguyen Ngoc Dong said.
He urged the Viet Nam Expressway Corporation to work closely with local authorities, consultants, and contractors to ensure quality and that the highway is finished on schedule and opens in 2015. — VNS