Mekong Delta expressway construction to start next year

By Doan Loan   March 27, 2021 | 09:31 am GMT+7
Mekong Delta expressway construction to start next year
Trung Luong-My Thuan Expressway linking HCMC with the Mekong Delta is seen from above, 2020. Photo by VnExpress/Quynh Tran.
Work is set to begin next year on a 156-km expressway linking Can Tho City with Ca Mau Province.

In connecting the delta’s economic center with the southernmost tip of the country, the expressway will pass through provinces of Vinh Long, Hau Giang, Soc Trang, and Bac Lieu, boosting connectivity in Vietnam's agriculture hub.

During the first phase of the project that is estimated to cost VND37.6 trillion ($1.63 billion), the expressway will be designed with two lanes that allow vehicles to travel at 80 kilometers per hour. In the second phase that would cost VND64 trillion, it would be upgraded into four lanes, allowing speeds of up to 100 km an hour.

Construction is set to be completed in 2025.

The first section, between Can Tho City and Bac Lieu Province, will be built using public funds, while the second, from Bac Lieu to the southernmost province of Ca Mau, will be built under the public-private-partnership (PPP) model.

The expressway is among several planned or being constructed in the Mekong Delta, home to Can Tho City 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 entire nation's 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 that 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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