|The Hải Vân Tunnel 2. — VNA/VNS Photo Quốc Dũng|
HÀ NỘI — The Hải Vân Tunnel 2, the longest road tunnel in Southeast Asia which connects the central province of Thừa Thiên-Huế and Đà Nẵng City, opened to traffic on Monday, four years after construction began.
The project of expanding Hải Vân Road Tunnel was approved by the Ministry of Transport in 2016. The two stages have cost more than VNĐ7.2 trillion (US$310 million). Stage one was to repair and upgrade the existing Hải Vân Road Tunnel 1 and improve a section of National Highway No 1 running through the Hải Vân Pass.
The second stage was to widen a tunnel used for the excavation to make it accessible for traffic – Hải Vân Road Tunnel 2 – with four lanes and an approaching road to the tunnel of the same scale.
The new tunnel is 6.2 km in length, built through a mountain, and has two sections for vehicles with each section 9.7 metres in width. The north approaching road is about 1.7 km long and the southern approaching road is 4 km.
Construction of the project concluded in September 2020, three months ahead of schedule. It is expected to help reduce traffic congestion for the current Hải Vân Road Tunnel 1. It will also shorten travel time for vehicles and improve the efficiency of transporting goods and passengers.
Deputy Prime Minister Trịnh Đình Dũng in his remarks said this was a major, complicated project but the Vietnamese investors and contractors have showcased in full their competence and technical prowess.
The Government official said the Hải Vân pass, an important section of the National Road 1, used to be a treacherous route that was risky for drivers, which prompted the Government's decision in 1996 to upgrade it to its current form, one of the world's 30 biggest tunnels.
The pass was completed in 2015, but due to the increase of traffic that accompanied the country's fast growth in recent years, it has become overloaded and in 2015, another upgrade was greenlit. — VNS