Central Vietnam opens two major expressways

By Doan Loan   October 18, 2023 | 03:40 pm PT
Central Vietnam opens two major expressways
Aerial view of the Truong Vinh Tunnel on the Nghi Son-Dien Chau expressway in central Vietnam. Photo by VnExpress/Anh Duy
Two expressways through the north central provinces of Thanh Hoa and Nghe An officially opened to the public on Wednesday, following two months of temporary suspension.

Deputy Prime Minister Tran Hong Ha has thanked 6,300 families who donated their land, and 652 families who donated both their land and their houses for the two projects: National Expressway 45-Nghi Son and Nghi Son-Dien Chau.

The projects opened for traffic September 1.

He said the two recently completed expressways would connect the North-South expressway all the way from the northern Huu Nghi border gate to Nghe An, contributing to the economic development of localities along the expressway.

Ha requested localities to implement policies to drive economic development in Thanh Hoa and Nghe An in order for the expressways to be utilized to their utmost potential.

The Ministry of Planning and Investment is considering plans to connect these major roads with other traffic conduits to utilize all road projects harmoniously. The ministry has been instructed by the state government to maintain the projects and build rest stations and other infrastructures to serve the people.

Le Dinh Tho, deputy transport minister, said the two projects encountered difficulties during the construction process due to impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic, making it impossible to deploy personnel and machines to the construction sites during social distancing. The projects also run through areas with complex geological characteristics, weak foundations, and construction was done when the prices of fuel and materials were high, the deputy minister added.

Nguyen Huu Ngoc, general director of the Truong Son Construction company, said the contractor has invested in hundreds of pieces of modern equipment, and workers had been working multiple shifts to keep the projects on time.

The National Expressway 45-Nghi Son expressway section spans 43 km and runs through Thanh Hoa’s Nong Cong District and Nghi Son Town. The total investment cost was over VND5.5 trillion ($223.83 million). The project still has around 30 km worth of roads unfinished, which are expected to be completed in November.

The Nghi Son-Dien Chau expressway section spans 50 km and runs through both Thanh Hoa and Nghe An. The total investment cost of the project was around VND7.293 trillion. Contractors are constructing 58 km more roads, and construction is expected to be finished this month.

After their completion, the two expressways will create a continuous express route from Hanoi to Nghe An, spanning a total of 251 km. For now, the expressways will not be collecting fees.

In the first phase, the two expressways will have four lanes without emergency stopping lanes. Their designed speed capacity is 80 kph. Following their completion, the expressways will have six lanes, with a designed speed capacity of 100-120 kph, according to planners.

The two expressways could cut travel time between Thanh Hoa and Nghe An from three hours to 1.5 hours. They could also cut travel time from Hanoi to Nghe An from five hours to 3.5 hours.

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