|A map indicates the route of the country's most expensive and longest expressway from Ben Luc in Long An Province to Long Thanh in Dong Nai Province. The 57.1km national project is an important part of the North-South Highway. — VNA Photo
HCM CITY (VNS) — Ground was broken for the country's most expensive and longest expressway from Ben Luc in Long An Province to Long Thanh in Dong Nai Province on Saturday.
"This project will make a great contribution to the development of the Key Southern Economic Region, especially the south-eastern region, besides promoting the economic potential and generating more opportunities for investment and tourism in HCM City, Long An, and Dong Nai Provinces," Primer Minister Nguyen Tan Dung told the ceremony held in HCM City's Can Gio District.
He told local authorities to focus on completing compensation payments and supporting affected households in accordance with regulations to ensure the handover of all the requisite land.
The 57.1km key national project is an important part of the North-South Highway.
On completion, the expressway will help create connectivity between the western and south-eastern regions without having to pass through HCM City, and connect the National Highway, Thi Vai - Cai Mep, Sao Mai - Ben Dinh International Port systems, and Long Thanh International Airport.
It will be part of Ring Road No.3 connecting National Highway No.1, National Highways No.50 and No.51, and the HCM City - Trung Luong Expressway.
It will help ease pressure on the national highways, reducing accidents, shorten the travel from Long An to Dong Nai and Ba Ria - Vung Tau Provinces, which is expected to improve the efficiency of industrial zones and ports and attract both domestic and foreign investors to southern region.
The expressway links up with the HCM City - Vung Tau Highway, thus becoming a part of the loop of the Southern economic corridor, which is itself a part of the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) comprising Bangkok, Phnom Penh, HCM City, and Vung Tau.
The project is designed in accordance with expressway class A standards with four lanes and two service lanes and a designed speed of 100km/h.
Due to the complex geological and hydrological conditions caused by the many rivers and swamps, it is necessary to build over 20km of bridges and viaducts, including two huge cable-stayed bridges: a 2.76km bridge over the Soai Rap River between Nha Be and Can Gio Districts, with a 375m main span and a 155m high main pylon; and a 3.18km bridge over the Long Tau River connecting Can Gio and Nhon Trach District in Dong Nai, with a 300m main span and 135m high main pylon.
The expressway will comprise six intersections, hundreds of residential culverts, drainage culverts, and auxiliary works like a traffic control center, stops, toll stations, and intelligent transport system.
It will cost VND31.3 trillion (US$1.6 billion) in the first stage, with $636 million coming from the Asian Development Bank and $635 million from the Japanese Government.
"The North - South Expressway is the most important road for Vietnamese socio-economic development," Hiroshi Fukada, Japan's ambassador to Viet Nam, said.
"The Japanese Government especially focuses on such important projects as symbols of friendship between the two countries."
Jesper Klindt Petersen, ADB's operations manager and portfolio management specialist, said: "In the next 7 -8 years, the city will continue to develop and transport volume is expected to double. The ADB is very pleased to provide finance for Ben Luc – Long Thanh expressway."
The Viet Nam Expressway Corporation will build the expressway through the Project Management Unit of Ben Luc - Long Thanh.
Land acquisition activities are divided into three independent sub-projects, and the people's committees of HCM City, Long An, and Dong Nai are tasked with them and expected to complete them by 2018.
Highway upgrade begins
Work started yesterday on a project to upgrade the Phap Van-Cau Gie Highway, the southern gateway to Ha Noi, under the build-operate-transfer (BOT) model.
The four-lane highway experiences the largest traffic flow in the northern region at present and traffic jams are frequent.
The upgrade is the second BOT highway project, to be carried out by the Minh Phat Investment and Development Joint Stock Company and the Phuong Thanh Transport Construction and Investment JSC.
It will be implemented in two phases with a total capital of over VND6.7 trillion (US$315 million).
Addressing the ground-breaking ceremony, Deputy PM Hoang Trung Hai said once work is completed in early 2018, the upgraded highway would have six lanes and serve 60,000 vehicles per day, doubling its current capacity.
The Phap Van-Cau Gie Highway plays an important role in the socio-economic development of Ha Noi and northern provinces.
The upgrade is also expected to improve traffic safety and ease traffic congestion on national highway 1A.
The new road will be connected to the Cau Gie-Ninh Binh highway, allowing vehicles to travel at a speed of 100-120 km per hour on the entire route. — VNS