Lawmakers okay $6.5 bln for north-south expressway extension

By Hoang Thuy, Viet Tuan   January 11, 2022 | 06:04 am PT
Lawmakers okay $6.5 bln for north-south expressway extension
The Cao Bo-Mai Son Expressway, which is part of the North-South Expressway in the northern Ninh Binh Province, October 2021. Photo by VnExpress/Ngoc Thanh
The National Assembly approved Tuesday a 729 km (453 miles) expansion to the eastern part of Vietnam’s North-South Expressway.

The extension received 93.99 percent votes from 474 legislators, allowing the government to spend VND146.990 trillion (almost $6.5 billion) of the state budget to implement 12 projects on the expansion.

The projects will consume 5,481 hectares (13,543 acres) of land in total, including 1,532 hectares of farmland, 110 hectares of protected forest land, and 1,436 of productive forest land.

Of the 12 expressway projects, 10 will have six lanes. The other two in the Mekong Delta, Can Tho – Hau Giang Expressway and Hau Giang – Ca Mau Expressway, will have four lanes each.

Work will be carried out from now for all projects to be basically completed in 2025 and start operations the next year.

The government passed a plan last September for Vietnam to have more than 5,000 km of expressways by 2030 and almost double that by 2050.

Under the plan, the 2,000-km eastern North-South Expressway from Lang Son to Ca Mau and the 1,200-km western North-South Expressway linking Tuyen Quang and Kien Giang provinces will be completed by 2050. Since work started on its first expressway project, Vietnam has taken 17 years to build 1,163 km (723 miles) of expressways, far short of the original goal to have 5,870 km built by 2020.

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