|Cổ Chiên Bridge connecting Bến Tre and Trà Vinh provinces in the Cửu Long (Mekong Delta) was built in 2015. — VNA/VNS Photo
MEKONG DELTA – Bạc Liêu province’s authorities on Tuesday petitioned the Minister of Transport Nguyễn Văn Thể to speed up transport projects in the Mekong Delta.
The chairman of Bạc Liêu’s People’s Committee, Dương Thành Trung, asked the minister to speed up construction of Đại Ngãi Bridge, which will connect Sóc Trăng and Trà Vinh provinces.
The Đại Ngãi Bridge project, which is located on National Road No 60 with total investment of VNĐ8 trillion ($352 million), is essential to the Delta transport system.
However, construction of the Đại Ngãi Bridge is due to start in 2020 whilst the Rạch Miễu 2 Bridge project still has no investors.
The bridge project, which has been submitted to Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc, is supported by Official Development Assistance (ODA) funds from Japan.
The upgrade of the National Road No 60, which connects Trà Vinh and Sóc Trăng provinces, has also been delayed.
The Quản Lộ- Phụng Hiệp Road, which needs to be upgraded, extends a total distance of 110km and passes through Hậu Giang, Sóc Trăng, Bạc Liêu and Cà Mau provinces.
The road project, which will reduce travelling distance between Cà Mau Province and HCM City by 70km, includes the Đại Ngãi and Rạch Miễu 2 bridges.
Minister Thể said the Quản Lộ - Phụng Hiệp Road upgrade project had received approval from the Prime Minister and the National Assembly.
The project is expected to start in the third quarter of next year and finish within 12 months at a total investment of VNĐ900 billion ($39 million).
Trung also asked the ministry to speed up the Mỹ Thuận – Cần Thơ Expressway project, related to which procedures are still in progress.
Lê Quốc Dũng, deputy director of the Management Board for Project No 7, said the master project would also include four upgraded bridges over National Highway No 1, which extends from HCM City to the Mekong Delta.
The upgrade of the bridges will start in April, 2019 and be completed in January, 2020, with total investment of VNĐ200 billion ($8.7 million).
Transport infrastructure in the Mekong Delta has recently seen huge investments, but the region still faces connectivity challenges as many projects have stalled or been delayed.
The ministry plans to complete 46 transport works from now through 2020, of which 39 have been completed, at a total cost of VNĐ76.5 trillion ($3.35 billion) mainly coming from the Government bonds.
Other 19 road projects costing VNĐ66 trillion ($2.9 billion) are underway, of which five are using capital from the State budget, three using capital raised from government bonds, and five others with capital from Official Development Assistance (ODA). The remaining six projects are being developed under the BOT form.
Completed works include the Cần Thơ, Hàm Luông, Cổ Chiên, Mỹ Lợi, and Năm Căn bridges, HCM City – Trung Lương Expressway. – VNS