The Trung Luong – My Thuan Expressway, part of the only expressway connecting HCMC and the Mekong Delta, opened to traffic Wednesday.
The 50-km (32-mile) extension runs through five districts in Tien Giang Province from Chau Thanh, where the HCMC – Trung Luong Expressway ended earlier, to National Highway 30 in Cai Be District.
It cost more than VND12 trillion (US$523.5 million), is 16 meters wide and has four lanes, and has more than 50 bridges.
The new section had been partially opened to traffic during the Lunar New Year holidays in 2021 and 2022 to ease the pressure on other routes.
It still lacks an emergency lane, and only has six emergency stop points in either direction.
HCMC-based Deo Ca Group, which built it, said two emergency lanes would be built at an unspecified date.
The extension work started in 2009 and was to be completed in 2013.
It was plagued by delays with the main contractor being changed several times.
In 2020 the cost was revised downward from VND14 trillion after several adjustments were made, and the government ordered the work be completed by 2021.
Phan Van Thang, deputy chairman of Deo Ca, said when his company took over the project in 2019, it was just 10 percent complete.
The partially state-owned firm chose a new contractor.
The HCMC – Trung Luong Expressway had been completed in 2010.
Now with the extension completed, the travel time between HCMC and Tien Giang has been cut from three hours to one hour and 45 minutes.
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