Monday , April 22 2024

HCMC-Mekong Delta expressway extension completed, ready for Tet rush

The Trung Luong – My Thuan Expressway is set to open to traffic on Jan. 22, just in time for the Lunar New Year, or Tet.

Nguyen Tan Dong, CEO of BOT Trung Luong – My Thuan JSC, the expressway builder, said Monday that the main parts of the highway are virtually completed and his company has told the government it could be put into service within this month.

Between January 22 and 31, vehicles will be allowed to travel on it from HCMC to the Mekong Delta, it has said. Tet falls on Feb. 1.

From Feb. 1 to 15 it could also be used to travel in the opposite direction, the company has said.

The Trung Luong – My Thuan Expressway links up with the HCMC – Trung Luong Expressway in Chau Thanh District in Tien Giang Province.

The 51-km (32-mile) extension now passes through five of the province’s districts to join National Highway 30 at the An Thai Trung Intersection in Cai Be District.

Originally budgeted to cost VND14 trillion ($606 million) and expected to be completed in 2013, it was plagued by delays.

Last year the cost was revised downwards to VND12 trillion after several adjustments and the government ordered the work be completed by 2021.

Since it opened to traffic in 2010, the HCMC – Trung Luong Expressway has been the only expressway linking the delta, home to around 20 million people, with the rest of the nation.

Trung Luong – My Thuan briefly and partially opened to traffic last year for Tet.

The Tet holiday usually sees millions of people travel from Ho Chi Minh City and the nearby industrial provinces of Binh Duong and Dong Nai to their hometowns in the delta.

A reverse exodus happens after the festival as people return to work.

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