|Vice chairwoman Tòng Thị Phóng (12th, right) at the opening ceremony on Saturday. — VNS Photo Nguyễn Hằng|Viet Nam News
SƠN LA — A 115-km stretch of the National Highway No 6 running through the provinces of Sơn La and Hòa Bình was re-opened to public on Saturday, May 7, 2016, by the Ministry of Transport after a year of road works.
The upgraded stretch, funded to the tune of VNÐ600 billion (US$26.9 million) by the World Bank under the Việt Nam Road Asset Management Project, made traffic smoother for road users and shortened travel time from Hà Nội to Sơn La to about 4 hours.
Cầm Ngọc Minh, chairman of the People’s Committee of Sơn La said National Highway No 6 was known as the arterial route connecting Hà Nội and the north-west region, so the upgrade was important.
It would help boost socio-economic development in the province and the north-west region, he said.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, National Assembly Vice-chairwoman Tòng Thị Phóng asked the transport ministry to co-operate with administrations of the two provinces to operate the stretch.
Victoria Kwakwa, Regional Vice President for East Asia and Pacific, said modernisation and upgrading of infrastructure was important, but sustainability was crucial.
Road maintenance was the key to sustainability, as the costs of maintaining new facilities was rising rapidly, but it was often not taken into account in budget allocations, she said.
Studies had proven that one dollar spent on road maintenance would save three dollars in later rehabilitation, she said. — VNS