Inter-Mekong Delta expressway to be shortened

By Cuu Long   July 22, 2021 | 04:58 am PT
Inter-Mekong Delta expressway to be shortened
Part of an expressway under construction in the Mekong Delta, January 2021. Photo by VnExpress/Quynh Tran.
An expressway linking Mekong Delta capital Can Tho City with Ca Mau Province will be 31 kilometers shorter than projected.

According to the new plan, the expressway will run from Can Tho through Kien Giang Province instead of Soc Trang Province before reaching Ca Mau, the southernmost province in Vietnam.

"This option shortens the distance the most, has low construction costs and will have the route mainly pass through agricultural land, which facilitates site clearance," Tran Van Thi, director of My Thuan Project Management Board, assigned by the Ministry of Transport to prepare the plan, said Wednesday.

Work is expected to start next year for the project to run nearly 125 kilometers (77.6 miles) with 112 bridges and 13 intersections.

With a total investment of nearly VND50 trillion ($2.17 billion), it will start near the borders of Vinh Long Province and Can Tho City, and end in Ho Thi Ky Commune of Ca Mau’s Thoi Binh District.

In connecting the delta’s economic center Can Tho with Ca Mau, the expressway would pass through the provinces of Vinh Long, Hau Giang, Soc Trang, and Bac Lieu, boosting connectivity across Vietnam's agriculture hub.

It will have four lanes with a width of 25 meters and a maximum speed of 100 kph once completed, which is set for 2025.

The expressway is among several planned or being constructed in Mekong Delta, home to Can Tho and 12 provinces with over 17 million residents. The region is one of Vietnam's most important economic zones, contributing 17.7 percent of the nation's entire GDP.

In 2019, the region contributed 54 percent of rice, 70 percent of seafood and 60 percent of fruit output for the whole country.

Lawmakers and officials have been saying for years the lack of infrastructural connectivity between Ho Chi Minh City and numerous Mekong Delta provinces was proving to be a development bottleneck for the region.

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