Complete southern expressway next year, open in 2021, PM directs

By Hung Le    September 27, 2019 | 10:09 pm PT
Complete southern expressway next year, open in 2021, PM directs
A section of key southern Trung Luong - My Thuan Expressway under construction. Photo by VnExpress/Quynh Tran.
Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has set April 30, 2021 as the inauguration deadline for the long-delayed Trung Luong – My Thuan Expressway.

Before its official inauguration, the Trung Luong-My Thuan expressway must open to traffic by December 20, 2020, PM Phuc said after an inspection visit to the expressway’s construction site Friday.

The 51.1km project running through the southern province of Tien Giang is only 27 percent complete, according to Mai Manh Hong, general director of Trung Luong - My Thuan BOT JSC, the company in charge of constructing the expressway.

Investors have raised VND2.5 trillion ($108 million) to contribute to the project’s funding, part of which will be advanced to Tien Giang Province to pay for land clearance.

However, the project is still mired in financial difficulties, especially with capital disbursement from co-financing banks, so the government approved in August the sum of VND2.19 trillion ($94.4 million) in supplementary capital from the state budget to push forward with construction.

"Once the state budget capital has been disbursed, investors will be able to commit all resources to ensure that the expressway clears for traffic by the end of 2020 as the PM has directed," Hong said.

PM Phuc asked leaders of the Tien Giang Provincial People's Committee and relevant agencies to ensure that the capital is disbursed on time.

Construction of the expressway that will run through five districts in Tien Giang began in 2009 and was to be completed in 2013, but it suffered multiple delays as one investor after another pulled out.

The total cost of the project is over VND12.67 trillion ($546 million), raised from the original figure of VND9.67 trillion ($417 million) in early August. Apart from the supplementary capital pledged by the government, the rest will come from investor equity and bank loans.

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