Work on route to boost Mekong Delta connectivity set to restart

By Cuu Long, Doan Loan   October 25, 2022 | 08:26 pm PT
Work on route to boost Mekong Delta connectivity set to restart
An artist's impression of Dai Ngai 1 Bridge across the Hau River, a Mekong tributary. Photo by the Project Management Board Unit 85
The Ministry of Transport wants a long-delayed transport project comprising roads and bridges that will link the Mekong provinces of Tra Vinh and Soc Trang revived next quarter.

The major work, first started in 2015, involves the construction of five intersections and seven bridges over 15.1 km along National Highway 60.

Of this, 8.7 km will be in Tra Vinh and the rest in Soc Trang.

Originally budgeted at VND5.8 trillion (US$232 million) and scheduled for completion in 2018, it stalled due to a lack of funds.

In late 2019 the government decided to allot official development assistance funds for the work, and the cost had risen to more than VND8 trillion for just the first phase.

Deputy Minister of Transport Nguyen Duy Lam said Tuesday that, with funding in place now, the ministry's Project Management Board Unit 85 -- which will oversee the work -- should quickly wrap up preliminary work and begin construction in the first quarter of 2023.

He described the work as important for connectivity not only between Tra Vinh and Soc Trang but also in the entire delta.

The Dai Ngai 1 and 2 bridges over the Hau River will be a combined 3.5 km long including their ramps and 17.5 m wide and have four lanes.

The other five bridges will be built over canals in the two provinces.

The work is expected to take four years and when complete will reduce the distance between Ho Chi Minh City and delta provinces of Ca Mau, Soc Trang and Bac Lieu by 80 km.

In Tra Vinh and Soc Trang, it will enable commuters to save at least 1.5 hours. They now have to wait for and travel by ferry across the two sections of the river.

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