Mekong Delta expressway construction to start in November

By Cuu Long   March 15, 2022 | 10:12 pm PT
Mekong Delta expressway construction to start in November
Construction of My Thuan - Can Tho Expressway between Ho Chi Minh City and the Mekong Delta, November 2021. Photo by VnExpress/Cuu Long
The Ministry of Transport has instructed five Mekong Delta localities to speed up land acquisition so that construction of the Can Tho – Ca Mau Expressway can begin in November.

By that deadline it wants Can Tho City and the provinces of Hau Giang, Kien Giang, Bac Lieu, and Ca Mau to hand over 70% of land since it wants construction to be completed by 2025, it said at a meeting with them on Tuesday.

The expressway will run 156 km (97 miles) between the delta's economic hub, Can Tho, and the country’s southernmost province, Ca Mau, passing through the other three provinces and boosting connectivity in Vietnam's agriculture hub.

In its first phase, estimated to cost VND37.6 trillion (US$1.63 billion), the expressway will have two lanes. In the second, costing VND64 trillion, it will be widened to have four lanes and allow speeds of up to 100 kph.

Tran Van Thi, director of the ministry's My Thuan Project Management Board, said so far land has been acquired to build 36.5 km, and the task has to be completed by the second quarter of next year.

Deputy Minister of Transport Nguyen Duy Lam has instructed that all procedures related to land use conversion, clearance, environmental impact assessment, and public consultation must be completed before Jun. 30.

The expressway would mainly go through agricultural lands that need to be reinforced before construction, he said.

The section between Can Tho and Bac Lieu will be built using public funds, and the rest under the public-private-partnership model.

It is among several highways being planned or built in the delta, home to 12 provinces with over 17 million people. The region is one of Vietnam's most important economic hubs, and contributes 17.7 percent of GDP.

The government earlier this month released a master plan for the delta's development this decade, which envisages 830 kilometers (515 miles) of expressways and 4,000 kilometers of national highways by 2030.

It says the delta will become "a sustainable, dynamic and highly efficient agricultural economic center of the country, region and world."

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