Dilapidated Dong Nai thoroughfare has no fix in sight

By Phuoc Tuan   November 26, 2023 | 05:07 pm PT
Dilapidated Dong Nai thoroughfare has no fix in sight
A pothole on Hoang Van Bon - Thien Tan Street in Dong Nai Province in southern Vietnam. Photo by VnExpress/Phuoc Tuan
The main road connecting the industrial provinces of Dong Nai and Binh Duong in the south is full of potholes, but repairs are stuck at a funding disagreement.

Stretching 6 kilometers, Hoang Van Bon - Thien Tan Street links National Highway 1 with Provincial Road No. 768, and is the main artery connecting Dong Nai and Binh Duong, both home to industrial parks neighboring the Ho Chi Minh City.

Every day, the street serves thousands of trucks and cars.

At 7 meters wide, the street’s surface is severely damaged.

The road is severely congested all day, from early morning and into the night, especially during rush hour.

"On sunny days, dust clouds kick up into the air, and when it rains, the road is muddy and stagnant water fills the potholes, leaving commuters with traps everywhere in the street," said a local man named Hung, who lives in Dong Nai’s Bien Hoa City.

According to Bien Hoa authorities, there have been five serious accidents on the street over the last two years that have left three dead and two severely injured.

There is no official data on smaller-scale accidents.

Nguyen Bon, deputy director of the Dong Nai Transport Department, said the street is part of a build-operate-transfer (BOT) project to upgrade Provincial Road No. 768 and its immediate connections.

The project has been carried out by Sonadezi Chau Duc Shareholding Company, which is based in Ba Ria – Vung Tau Province, another HCMC neighbor.

In September, the company said it wanted to repair the road using the state budget, but the department turned down the proposal, arguing that as a BOT project the company should use its own money.

Costing VND500 billion (US$20.6 million), excluding fees for compensation and relocation that were covered by the state budget, the project has widened 48 kilometers of road.

Sonadezi Chau Duc plans to collect toll fees in 35 years from 2010 to 2044.

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