Vietnam to build expressway linking two provinces on China border

By Doan Loan   November 26, 2018 | 11:35 pm PT
Vietnam to build expressway linking two provinces on China border
The Dong Dang-Tra Linh express way will connect with another one that is being constructed to link the northern provinces of Bac Giang and Lang Son. Photo by VnExpress/Anh Duy
Vietnam plans to build a 115km expressway connecting northern Lang Son and Cao Bang provinces on the Chinese border to foster their development.

At a meeting with Cao Bang authorities last Saturday, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc agreed to implement the project in public-private partnership (PPP) mode, saying it would be a breakthrough in advancing Cao Bang' development.

"The expressway will open a new direction for transport, trade and socio-economic development for poorer provinces like Cao Bang."

The expressway will run from the intersection of Tra Linh border economic zone in Cao Bang to the high-speed intersection of the Tan Thanh border gate in Lang Son.

It will have four lanes, be 17 meters wide and allow vehicles to ply at 80 kilometers per hour.

The expressway will have six tunnels through mountains and 18 viaducts and cost nearly VND21 trillion ($895.75 million).

Cao Bang Province is expected to invest more than VND7.5 trillion ($319.91 million), mainly in the form of land, while funds brought in by investors and borrowings are expected to be VND13 trillion ($554.51 million).

Pleading a resource constraint, Cao Bang has proposed construction in phases.

The first phase, in 2019-2020, will see the construction of an 80-kilometer stretch from the Tan Thanh border gate in Lang Son to Cao Bang city at a cost of VND10 trillion ($426.55 million). The remaining 35 kilometers will be built in the second phase.

The government has approved allocation of funds for the work.

The VND10 trillion in phase one will consist of VND2 trillion ($85.3 million) from the government’s coffers, VND2 trillion from the province and VND6 trillion ($255.93 million) from private investors.

In 2016 the Government had approved construction of the 144-kilometer Dong Dang-Tra Linh expressway at a cost of VND47 trillion ($2 billion). Dong Dang is a town in Lang Son, and Tra Linh is a district in Cao Bang.

The PM had instructed the Ministry of Planning and Investment to allocate funds for the project, with an estimated $300 million to be borrowed from China. But the deal fell through due to issues with loan conditions.

The plans have been altered to make the expressway shorter and cheaper.

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