Lack of construction sand delays Mekong Delta expressway

By An Binh   September 6, 2023 | 12:05 am PT
Lack of construction sand delays Mekong Delta expressway
An area in the Mekong Delta where Can Tho - Ca Mau Expressway will run through. Photo by VnExpress/An Binh
Work on the Can Tho – Ca Mau Expressway in the Mekong Delta is three months behind schedule as it has only received 8% of the sand needed.

The 110-km road requires 18.1 million cubic meters of sand but has received less than 1.5 million cubic meters, Tran Van Thi, director of My Thuan Project Management Board, the project investor, said as he received Deputy Prime Minister Tran Hong Ha on Tuesday.

Thi said the project site has been almost cleared, but only 9% of the ground construction was finished.

The expressway was considered the most important road in the Mekong Delta by connecting many localities with 128 bridges. Work started early this year and is expected to cost more than VND27.2 trillion (US$1.13 billion).

Earlier the government ordered An Giang, Dong Thap and Vinh Long Provinces to prioritize sand supply for the project.

An Giang, which was supposed to provide 3.3 million cubic meters of sand to the project this year, stopped at 0.11 million cubic meters as a case of illegal sand mining prompted sand extraction in the province to be suspended.

The province's deputy chairman Tran Anh Thu was detained last month for taking bribes of VND1.2 billion ($50,000) to allow a company to mine sand beyond the licensed levels.

Dong Thap has provided more than 0.37 million cubic meters of the required 3.3 million cubic meters.

Vinh Long is in charge of 2.5 million cubic meters of sand and has made around 1.38 million available.

Pham Thien Nghia, chairman of Dong Thap, promised to provide enough sand as assigned by the government.

But Nghia said he did "not feel secure" about the impact of extracting such a large amount of sand in a short time from the local rivers.

Deputy PM Ha ordered contractors in charge of sand mines to make sure the mining serves the project well, under local authorities' supervision.

He added that the mining must be carried out with caution to avoid causing erosion and impacting local river flow.

Photo by GoogleMaps

The distance between Can Tho and Ca Mau, which will be connected by an expressway. Photo by GoogleMaps

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