Ministry unhappy with slow progress of Bien Hoa - Vung Tau Expressway

By Phuoc Tuan   August 22, 2023 | 10:41 pm PT
Ministry unhappy with slow progress of Bien Hoa - Vung Tau Expressway
The construction site of Bien Hoa - Vung Tau Expressway in Dong Nai Province's Long Thanh District, August 2023. Photo by VnExpress/Phuoc Tuan
The Ministry of Transport has criticized the tardiness in building the Bien Hoa - Vung Tau expressway and urged Dong Nai Province to speed up land acquisition.

Work on the expressway between the beach city of Vung Tau and the industrial hub of Bien Hoa in Dong Nai Province began in June, but its slow progress means it is at risk of failing to meet the completion deadline of 2025 and to become operational in 2026 as mandated by the National Assembly and the government.

The ministry's exhortation followed a meeting between Deputy Minister of Transport Le Anh Tuan and authorities in Dong Nai and Ba Ria - Vung Tau provinces, both neighboring HCMC.

To cost around VND18 trillion (US$755.67 million), the expressway will run 53.7 km, 34 km in Dong Nai and the rest in Ba Ria - Vung Tau.

Ba Ria - Vung Tau will spend VND670 billion and Dong Nai VND2.6 trillion to acquire lands and resettle evicted people, while the rest of the cost will come from the government.

Ba Ria - Vung Tau has handed over 78% of the required lands as against just 6% by Dong Nai.

The ministry wants Dong Nai to speed up the process, while provincial authorities cited disagreements in acquiring lands with Dong Nai Rubber Corporation and units under the Ministry of National Defense for the expressway and resettlement areas.

They warned the task might not be completed this year.

The ministry said delays would increase land costs, possibly resulting in the need to rework the project.

It is one of three expressways the government seeks to build to meet the urgent transportation needs of the southern key economic region comprising, besides HCMC, Dong Nai and Ba Ria - Vung Tau, the provinces of Binh Duong, Tay Ninh and Binh Phuoc.

National Highway 51 is currently the only link between Bien Hoa and Vung Tau. When put into use, the expressway is expected to shorten the travel time between HCMC and Vung Tau to 70 minutes instead of two hours.

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