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Decentralization helps fast-track expressway projects
By Le Anh
Thursday,  Feb 13, 2020,12:27 (GMT+7)

Decentralization helps fast-track expressway projects

By Le Anh

A map illustrates the HCMC-Moc Bai expressway. More decision-making power for localities has helped fast-track expressway projects - PHOTO: LE ANH

HCMC – Expressway projects in southern localities, such as HCMC, Tien Giang and Dong Nai, have been executed at a faster pace following the empowerment of local authorities to make decisions on these projects.

At present, the Ministry of Transport is responsible for calling for investment in and managing expressway projects. However, many of them have moved at a snail’s pace.

Some projects have had feasibility studies for 10 years but have yet to be executed. Therefore, the Government has allowed the HCMC, Tien Giang and Dong Nai authorities to directly call for investments in expressway projects in their localities.

On February 7, the Government also gave its nod to the Ba Ria-Vung Tau government to prepare for investment procedures and draw up the prefeasibility study for the Bien Hoa-Vung Tau expressway project in the province. The 47-kilometer expressway will require an estimated investment of VND9.3 trillion (US$399.1 million) in the first phase.

The Ministry of Transport already did the feasibility study for the project in 2010, but the project came to a standstill, causing an overload on National Highway 51 and hindering the transport of cargo to the Cai Mep-Thi Vai port complex.

In October last year, the HCMC government was also assigned to take charge of the HCMC-Moc Bai expressway project. Only 15 days later, HCMC and Tay Ninh governments worked out a detailed action plan for the project and signed an agreement on the project’s execution.

As planned, the 53.5-kilometer four-lane expressway could be completed by 2025. The project, which requires an estimated investment of nearly VND10.7 trillion, will be executed under the public-private partnership format through a build-operate-transfer (BOT) contract.

Last year, the Government also assigned the Dong Nai government to build the 3.7-kilometer Cat Lai bridge connecting Dong Nai and HCMC. The project requires VND7.2 trillion in investment.

Work on the project is expected to start this year.

The Trung Luong-My Thuan expressway project, after being assigned to the Tien Giang government, has moved faster. All 24 packages of the project are being executed day and night to ensure it is completed next year.

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