Monday , June 17 2024

Expressway linking HCMC, Mekong Delta to become doubly wide

The government plans to widen the HCMC – Trung Luong Expressway to eight lanes from the current four at a cost of VND9.7 trillion (US$416.5 million).

Officials from the Ministry of Transport’s Project Management Board No. 7 said at a meeting with authorities in the Mekong Delta province of Long An Monday that work to expand the 62-km expressway would begin in 2025 and be completed in two years, allowing vehicles to travel at speeds of 120 kph.

Connecting Ho Chi Minh City and Tien Giang Province and passing through Long An, the expressway opened to traffic in 2011 with four lanes and two emergency lanes.

The only expressway between HCMC and the delta has become increasingly overloaded, especially during holidays such as Lunar New Year when people flock to their hometowns.

Currently the maximum speed allowed for vehicles is 100 kph.

Since toll collection was stopped in January 2019 it has seen the number of vehicles increase by 30% to 50,000 daily, resulting in frequent traffic snarls and accidents, according to the Directorate of Roads, which manages it.

Last April the highway was lengthened by 50 km when the Trung Luong – My Thuan section was completed with four lanes and no emergency lanes.

The Mekong Delta is home to Can Tho City and 12 provinces with over 17 million people, and is one of Vietnam’s major economic hubs, contributing 17.7% to its GDP.

In March the government issued a master plan for the delta’s development this decade, which envisages it having 830 km of expressways and 4,000 km of national highways by 2030.

It says the delta will become “a sustainable, dynamic and highly efficient agricultural economic center of the country, region and world.”

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