A US$1.5 billion expressway that links Noi Bai in Hanoi and the northern province of Lao Cai, with total length of 245 km, will open to traffic on September 21, said the Vietnam Expressway Corporation (VEC).
The expressway, which is the longest of its kind in Vietnam so far, will run from Hanoi’s Noi Bai through the provinces of Vinh Phuc, Phu Tho and Yen Bai before reaching Lao Cai, said Do Chi Chung, chief of the secretariat of VEC, the new road’s investor.
The Hanoi-Yen Bai section has 4 lanes for vehicles running at 100 kph while the Yen Bai-Lao Cai section have 2 lanes for vehicles travelling at 80 kph, Chung said.
The expressway has also 120 bridges including two large ones that span over the Hong River and the Lo River. It also has a 530-meter long tunnel, 13 toll collection stations and five resting stations.
The project, which broke ground in 2008, has a total investment of nearly US$1.5 billion, including $1.03 billion from the Asian Development Bank (ADB)’s Ordinary Capital Resources, $236.21 million as soft loans from the Asian Development Bank (ADB)’s Asian Development Fund, and $170.31 million as the Government’s counterpart capital that has been spent on site clearance.
The expressway will help shorten the travel time from Hanoi to Lao Cai from the current seven hours to 3.5 hours in the coming time, VEC said.
The new facility will also help ease the high traffic density as well as traffic accidents on National Highways 2, 2B, 32C and 70.
In addition, vehicles running on expressway will have fuel consumption reduced as they can run uninterruptedly.
To build the expressway, more than 2 million hectares of land has been cleared, and over 25,000 households have been relocated in 99 resettlement areas, the VEC said.
The toll rates on the expressway will be VND1,000 ($0.047) per km for cars travelling on the 2-lane section of the road and VND1,500 per km for cars running on the 4-lane section.
Meanwhile, vans under 7-seat vans will pay a toll of about VND300,000 ($14.2) per vehicle per entry, while trucks will pay a toll of up to VND1.2 million ($56.7) per vehicle per entry. the VEC said.