Five vital transport projects completed in 2019

By Doan Loan   December 15, 2019 | 11:46 pm PT
An expressway, a road section, two bridges and a mountain tunnel were among several major transport infrastructure projects completed in Vietnam this year.

Cu Mong Tunnel

The 2.6-kilometer long tunnel opened to traffic on January 21 following four years of construction, allowing vehicles to cross the Cu Mong Mountain Pass, one of the most rugged in the country, between Binh Dinh and Phu Yen provinces in south-central Vietnam.

The nearly VND4 trillion ($171.88 million) project also comprises four kilometers of road on which vehicles can travel at up to 80 kilometers per hour. 

[Cars travelling through the Cu Mong Tunnel. Photo by VnExpress/Pham Linh.]

Cars travelling through the Cu Mong Tunnel. Photo by VnExpress/Pham Linh.

It has two underground tunnels about 30 meters apart, each 10 meters wide and with two lanes. Currently the western tunnel is being used for traffic, while the other is meant for use as a refuge chamber during emergencies.  

Crossing the tunnel takes around six minutes, while it takes 30 minutes to cross the same distance on the Cu Mong Pass, which involves travelling through seven kilometers of winding roads. 

Vam Cong Bridge

The Vam Cong Bridge over the Hau River in southern Vietnam between Dong Thap Province and Can Tho City, was scheduled to be completed by the end of 2017. However, in November 2017 authorities discovered a crack on the bridge’s horizontal beam measuring meters long and over four centimeters wide, and so stopped construction to carry out repairs. 

The builders had to replace 60 percent of the horizontal beam before finishing the road surface and aligning cables. The bridge was inaugurated on May 19, 2019. 

The work includes a 2.97-kilometer cable-stayed bridge and 5.88 kilometers of approach roads. The bridge has a span of 450 meters and four lanes for cars and two for smaller vehicles. 

The Vam Cong is the second cable-stayed bridge on the Hau River, a tributary of the Mekong River. The first is the Can Tho Bridge, 48 kilometers upstream. 

According to Minister of Transport Nguyen Van The, the project is a vital link in the Mekong Delta road network, helping connect localities, acting as a driving force for socio-economic development and ensuring national defense and security.

The bridge helps reduce traffic on National Highway 1A, which is often congested during holidays like the Lunar New Year, and speed up transportation of agricultural produce from the delta to HCMC.

Bac Giang – Lang Son Expressway

The VND12.19 trillion ($523.98 million) expressway connecting northern Bac Giang Province, 45 kilometers northeast of Hanoi, with northern Lang Son province on the China border opened to traffic in late September.

The four-lane expressway is 64 kilometers long, 25 meters wide, has a designed speed of 100 kilometers per hour. This route will collect toll for 17 years.

[A section of the Bac Giang - Lang Son Expressway. Photo by VnExpress/Giang Huy.]

A section of the Bac Giang - Lang Son Expressway. Photo by VnExpress/Giang Huy.

Work on it began in October 2015 and was originally scheduled for completion in 2017. However, the Ministry of Transport had to identify a new contractor after the original one ran out of funds.

The Bac Giang – Lang Son expressway is part of the 143-kilometer Hanoi – Lang Son Expressway running between the capital and the border in Lang Son Province. 

Hoang Van Thu Bridge

The 1.5-kilometer bridge in northern port city of Hai Phong was inaugurated in October. The main part of the bridge, which weighs more than 5,000 tons, includes a 527-ton steel arch that is the largest of its kind in Vietnam.

[Hoang Van Thu Bridge, Hai Phong city. Photo by VnExpress/Giang Chinh.]

Hoang Van Thu Bridge, Hai Phong City. Photo by VnExpress/Giang Chinh.

It has four lanes for motor vehicles, two mixed lanes and two for pedestrians. It allows a maximum speed of 80 kilometers on the main deck and 40-50 kilometers on its branches.

Construction began in January 2017, and it is a key project to facilitate relocation of its administrative and political center to a larger and more modern location.

Mai Dich – Nam Thang Long section on Hanoi Belt Road No. 3

The 5.5-kilometer section from Mai Dich intersection to Thang Long Bridge opened to traffic on October 10 after three years of construction. It runs through Hanoi's Bac Tu Liem and Cau Giay districts.

After construction it was widened and now ranges from 56 meters to 93 meters in width. The section now has six lanes on either side, four for cars and two for all vehicles. 

But many sections remain closed because construction of viaducts is going on and is scheduled for completion in 2020. 

The project, aimed at easing Hanoi’s traffic congestion, cost VND3.11 trillion ($133.68 million). 

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