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Road-building delay worsens traffic

Update: January, 20/2015 - 09:35
On January 16, a nine-hour long traffic jam occurred on the highway, which is being expanded to 14 - 16 lanes. — Photo plo

HCM CITY (VNS) — Traffic congestion has become worse on Ha Noi Highway as the ongoing road expansion project, which began nearly five years ago, is behind schedule, experts have said.

On January 16, a nine-hour long traffic jam occurred on the highway, which is being expanded to 14 - 16 lanes.

Nguyen Thanh Nam, executive director of the Ha Noi Highway Expansion Project, said the congestion was due to delays in construction and to loading activities of many ports located along the road, such as Phuoc Long and Truong Tho ports.

The ports do not have enough parking lots despite the high number of container trucks entering the ports, he added.

A number of sections of the highway have not been expanded because of construction of the metro subway route No 1 from Ben Thanh in District 1 to Suoi Tien in District 9.

In addition, the road section in Thu Duc District has been narrowed by half due to construction of the metro project.

Only 42 per cent of the work on the highway expansion has been completed.

A representative of the HCM City Infrastructure Investment Joint-Stock Company, the chief contractor of the project, said the delay was due to late delivery of land from districts 2 and Thu Duc.

Under the BOT (Build-Operate-Transfer) contract, the project, which began in April 2010, was to have been finished 36 months after the date the contractors received the land.

However, the company did not receive the land from District 2 until June 2012, and from Thu Duc District until June 2014, the representative said.

Of the 15.7km of the project, a 2.2km section is also located in Binh Duong Province.

However, the work has been delayed because the province did not use the provincial budget, as required, to pay for clearance compensation.

The HCM City's People's Committee has instead asked the Government to fund the compensation, which is estimated at around VND1.4 trillion ($65.79 million), but it was rejected, as the Finance Ministry said that provinces themselves must pay for compensation.

The expansion of the 2.2km section in Binh Duong Province is still awaiting a final decision on who will pay for compensation.

The HCM City Infrastructure Investments Joint-Stock Company said that it could not determine the date of completion for the section until it receives the final decision from the Government.

Under the Ha Noi Highway Expansion Project, the Ha Noi Highway, which is the main gateway of the city that connects to southeastern provinces, will be expanded to 14-16 lanes. — VNS

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