|A section of the extension of the Ha Noi-Thai Nguyen National Highway. — VNA/VNS Photo Huy Hung
HA NOI (VNS) — Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung has approved in principle a plan to invest in an extension of National Highway No 3, connecting Ha Noi and the northern Thai Nguyen Province.
Under the plan, the transport ministry will implement the build-operate-transfer project.
A group of investors had suggested to the transport ministry in June the upgrade of the extension of the highway to increase the speed limit from the current 80km per hour to 100km to 120km per hour.
The project will include widening of the road, the construction of emergency stop points and of a 2cm-thick asphalt and concrete road to ensure the safety of vehicles running at high speed.
Service and operation stations will also be built on the highway, with the toll system following the Intelligent Transport System model.
About VND3.2 trillion (US$140 million) is proposed to be invested in the project, which is scheduled to begin in October, with the road being opened to traffic next May.
Six toll booths will start collecting toll taxes next June. The payback period is estimated to be 21 years and six months.
National Highway No3, connecting Ha Noi and the northern Thai Nguyen Province, opened to traffic last January. The construction of the highway began in November 2009, with an investment of more than VND10 trillion (US$440 million), which was sourced from the Japanese official development assistance (ODA) and the state budget.
The four-lane, 64km route runs through Ha Noi, Bac Ninh and Thai Nguyen. One of the seven highways leading to the capital city, it is expected to reduce traffic jams, boost trade exchanges between Ha Noi and neighboring provinces and lure more investment to the northern provinces. —VNS