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Cai Lay BOT road builder to resume toll collection early next week

The Saigon Times

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HCMC – The controversial Cai Lay build-operate-transfer (BOT) project is expected to resume toll collection at two stations on a trial basis on September 20 before the official date on October 7, according to the Directorate for Roads of Vietnam (DRVN).

DRVN yesterday, September 15, wrote to the Ministry of Transport seeking approval for the toll collection resumption plan after a five-year stoppage, the local media reported.

One of the two toll stations is located on the National Highway 1A section running through Cai Lay Town in the Mekong Delta province of Tien Giang, while the other is on a national highway bypass.

Until now, the project’s investor has completed repair work on the bypass and installed a non-stop electronic toll collection (ETC) system at the two stations.

The Tien Giang Department of Transport has already made a list of over 1,300 vehicles owned by local residents in neighboring areas entitled to toll fee exemptions and reductions in the first phase.

Early this month, the provincial People’s Committee chaired a meeting discussing the pilot and official resumption of toll collection. DRVN then asked the relevant agencies to review and complete procedures to set up the ETC systems at the stations.

The project to build the 38.5-kilometer National Highway section running through Cai Lay required an initial investment of VND1.39 trillion. The project included enhancing a 26.4-kilometer section on the national highway and the construction of the 12-kilometer bypass.

The toll station on the national highway originally aimed to collect toll fees from vehicles traveling on the two routes.

However, after it was put into service from August 1, 2017, many drivers objected to the station’s location. They used small-denomination banknotes to pay the fees and gathered around the station, resulting in traffic congestion and public security problems.

Four months later, the station halted the toll collection until now.

After that, the Tien Giang authorities ordered the investor to build a second toll station on the bypass. The toll station on the national highway will collect toll fees to recoup the investment used to enhance the road surface.

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