Wednesday, March 20 2019

VietNamNews

Transport minister inspects traffic infrastructure works in Mekong Delta

Update: March, 13/2019 - 09:00
Highway No.60 in Bến Tre Province is overloaded with vehicles which have to pass over Rạch Miễu Bridge.—VNA/VNS Photo Công Trí
Viet Nam News

HCM CITY– The Mekong Delta province of Kiên Giang should build more roads to link its districts with the rest of the province and with highways connecting other provinces and cities to attract more investors, Minister of Transport Nguyễn Văn Thể said yesterday.

At a meeting with the province People’s Committee, Thể pointed out that provinces and cities with good traffic infrastructure have seen their economic benefit.

Kiên Giang should invite airlines to resume flights between Rạch Giá City and Phú Quốc Island to help attract more tourists to the latter, he said.

On Monday the minister and his aides checked the progress of construction of Lộ Tẻ Road from Kiên Giang Province’s Châu Thành District to Cần Thơ City.

Trần Văn Thi, general director of the Cửu Long Corporation for Investment, Development and Management for Transport Infrastructure Projects, said the construction would be finished by August if funds were allocated in time.

The construction of bridges at Tà Nôm and Kênh, which was recently added to the project, will begin later and everything is expected to be finished by March next year.

To cost VNĐ6.7 trillion (US$288 million), the road will serve as an important link between HCM City and Kiên Giang and with other provinces in the Mekong Delta.

Mai Anh Nhịn, vice chairman of the province People’s Committee, said development of traffic infrastructure was synchronous and planning and progress of works was proper.

Since 2016 more than VNĐ1.2 trillion has been spent on building roads in rural areas.

The province has three ports, Tắc Cậu, Rạch Giá and Hà Tiên, 638 bus stations and wharves for transport of people and cargo.

It also has 173 roads and waterway routes and 5,802 vehicles to traverse them.

The province asked the minister for more funds for maintaining roads, replacing degraded bridges on Highway No.80, carrying out works at the Phú Quốc International Airport, and executing other key projects like the section of Hồ Chí Minh Road running through the province.

Thể and ministry officials also met the leaders of Bến Tre, Tiền Giang and Đồng Tháp provinces to learn about the work on Rạch Miễu Bridge No.2 and Highway No.30.

The four-lane bridge will cost more than VNĐ4.6 trillion and is being built in public-private partnership mode.

Phan Văn Mãi, standing deputy secretary of the Bến Tre Province Party Committee, said the existing Rạch Miễu Bridge was overloaded because of the heavy traffic, especially during Tết every year and weekends.

The Rạch Miễu Bridge No.2 linking Tiền Giang would serve not only Bến Tre but also the region’s eastern coastal provinces of Trà Vinh, Vĩnh Long, Sóc Trăng and others to spearhead the whole region’s economic development, he said.

It would also help reduce the load on Highway No.1, and the ministry should approve the construction quickly, he said.

He said public money should be used for the construction because raising official development assistance (ODA) loans would take time while clearing the traffic congestion on the existing Rạch Miễu Bridge was an urgent need.

The new bridge will be 3.8 kilometres upstream of the existing one and not be linked with Highway No.57 to avoid overloading at the roundabout leading into Bến Tre City.

Thể said the new bridge was vital and the proposal to build it would be submitted to the National Assembly next year.

If approved, construction would begin immediately and be finished in 2023, he said.

The Highway No.30 section between An Hữu Commune in Tiền Giang Province and Đồng Tháp Province’s Cao Lãnh City was also vital because traffic was expected to increase by 30 per cent from Rạch Giá and Hà Tiên cities in Kiên Giang Province after a bridge linking Đồng Tháp Province with Cần Thơ City opens to traffic in this year, the minister said. – VNS

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