HCMC, neighbors seek $3.67 bln state support toward ring road

By Gia Minh   November 25, 2021 | 04:00 am PT
HCMC, neighbors seek $3.67 bln state support toward ring road
The section of HCMC Ring Road No.3 on the side of Binh Duong Province. Photo by VnExpress/Gia Minh
Ho Chi Minh City and three neighboring provinces will need state funding to complete a ring road to boost connectivity.

Authorities of HCMC, Binh Duong, Dong Nai and Long An have agreed that they will request VND83.3 trillion ($3.67 billion) in state support to complete Ring Road No. 3 that connects the southern metropolis with neighboring provinces, as proposed in a report submitted to the city administration Tuesday.

Running more than 90 kilometers (56 miles), Ring Road No. 3 will allow vehicles to travel to and from Binh Duong, Long An and Dong Nai without having to enter inner HCMC.

Ten years since approval, only 16 kilometers of the ring road has been completed, while most recently, an 8.75 kilometer section through Dong Nai and HCMC found a consultant after investment capital was identified at VND5.33 trillion, with funding from Japan’s official development assistance and counterpart Vietnamese capital.

According to a plan by the Ministry of Transport, once complete, the ring road would have eight lanes for vehicles to travel at 100 kph aside from parallel roads on both sides.

As agreed by HCMC and its neighbors, completing the road is necessary to help tackle chronic gridlock in several areas and create a driving force for economic and social development in the Southern Key Economic Region, which comprises HCMC, the industrial hubs of Dong Nai and Binh Duong, and the provinces of Ba Ria-Vung Tau, Tay Ninh, Binh Phuoc, along with the Mekong Delta provinces Long An and Tien Giang.

Under the build-operate-transfer format, investors will have to contribute more than VND15.4 trillion, or 18 percent of the total investment for the project, and spend 29 years to recover capital, a plan that appears to be unattractive for private investors.

Even when investors are found, the project must pass through various procedures and approved by the legislative National Assembly, given the high costs of a BOT project.

Therefore, the four localities have decided to complete the road as a public project, using the budget from the socio-economic recovery and development program designed for the post-Covid period, given that HCMC and the three provinces have been hit hardest in the ongoing wave.

The sum of VND83.3 trillion as proposed will be used to invest in the entire first phase of the project, which includes site clearance, the construction of four lanes and two parallel roads.

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