|Parts of National Highway No1 running through central Bình Định Province are seriously degraded. — VNA/VNS Photo Quốc Dũng|
HÀ NỘI — Toll stations on roads built under Build-Operation-Transfer (BOT) contracts could be closed if investors behind the projects delayed repairs, Transport Minister Nguyễn Văn Thể said on Monday after receiving complaints about poor-quality BOT roads in the central province of Bình Định.
He asked relevant agencies to regularly inspect and assess damage to the roads and propose measures to fix the issues.
Phan Cao Thắng, vice chairman of Bình Định Province People’s Committee said people were very concerned about the quality of parts of National Highway No.1 that runs through the province.
The road was upgraded and re-opened in 2015, but the road surface soon became uneven and potholes appeared.
Lê Kim Thành, director of the ministry’s Department of Construction Management and Quality, said that the 118 km of National Highway No.1 running through Bình Định Province was divided into three parts. The first 28.7 km and the last 40.66 km were built under BOT contracts while the 60.6 km section in the middle was built with Government bonds
Thành said that the road was damaged by frequent flooding and rain. Moreover, the stone used for the road construction was allegedly of poor quality and not adhesive to asphalt.
“Road repairs are merely conducted to ensure traffic runs smoothly,” he said, adding that further work was being carried out to fix the problems.
“By the end of this year, the work will be completed,” Thành said.
Provincial vice chairman Thắng said the first part of National Highway No.1 in Bình Định Province was over 28 km, but the investor upgraded just 23 km, while the third part was over 40.6 km but the investor upgraded about 35 km. However, they opened two BOT toll stations at both ends of the road.
Thắng said investors behind the road delayed a reduction in toll fees despite the province’s policy on toll fee reduction.
“Road users complained about the quality and the toll fees imposed on BOT roads such as National Highway No.1 and No.19,” Thắng said.
Minister Thể said that toll collection must follow current regulations and the project’s finance. He asked for completion of the roadwork by the end of this year.
Also at the meeting with Bình Định Province leaders, Thể asked relevant agencies to develop planning for Phù Cát Airport, Nhơn Hội Port and Quy Nhơn Railway Station. — VNS