A section of National Highway No 217 after being upgraded in the northern province of Thanh Hoá. — Photo baogiaothong.vn
HÀ NỘI — National Highway No 217, which connects Nghi Sơn Sea Economic Zone to the west of Thanh Hóa Province, Na Mèo International Border Gate and Laos, has been re-opened to traffic after a nearly two-year upgrade.
The opening ceremony was held on Monday by Thăng Long Project Management Unit under the Ministry of Transport.
Previously, the ministry assigned the unit to upgrade 47km of the highway, which runs through three districts of Hà Trung, Cẩm Thuỷ and Bá Thước in the province, in early 2018.
Nguyễn Văn Dục, head of the unit’s No 4 project management office, said the highway was now ready for re-operation.
Dục said the re-operation of the national highway would help shorten the travelling time from Thanh Hóa City to Na Mèo International Border Gate.
The journey now only takes 3-4 hours instead of nearly one day like before, Giao thông (Transport) online newspaper reported.
The national highway was 5.5m in width in the past, but now, its surface was 8m wide.
Vehicles could smoothly and safely use the new road, he added.
Before the upgrade, the road was narrow and full of potholes that posed a high risk of traffic accidents, he said.
Thanh Hóa Province National Assembly deputy Mai Sỹ Diến said the national highway was believed to play an important role in promoting trade among the centre of Thanh Hóa City, Na Mèo International Border Gate and Laos’ Houaphanh Province.
The road connected to the border-patrol belt road, ensured national security and defence and created favourable transport conditions for ethnic minorities, he said.
Dương Viết Roãn, director of the project management unit, said the road upgrade investments came from a loan from the Asian Development Bank and capital of the Vietnamese Government.
The project was worth VNĐ1.63 trillion (US$70 million), including the loan of VNĐ1.52 trillion ($65.2 million).
Roãn said the re-operation of the highway after the upgrade not only played a key role with the province’s development but also the region.
Previously, another 95km of the national highway was upgraded, worth VNĐ1.89 trillion ($81 million) borrowing from the ADB, and re-opened since early 2016. — VNS