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Expressway connecting southern economic hub with Mekong Delta opens to traffic

By Trung Chanh

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CAN THO – The Trung Luong-My Thuan Expressway, a main road connecting HCMC and other provinces in the southern economic zone with the Mekong Delta, was opened to traffic this morning, January 19.

This 51.5-kilometer-long expressway is an extension of the existing HCMC-Trung Luong Expressway. It is part of the Eastern North-South Expressway project in the Mekong Delta, connecting HCMC and the southern key economic region with Can Tho City and the Mekong Delta provinces.

The Trung Luong-My Thuan Expressway links the HCMC-Trung Luong Expressway with the An Thai Trung Intersection in Cai Be District, Tien Giang Province, and will be connected to the under-construction My Thuan 2 Bridge.

The expressway is 16 meters wide, with four lanes in total and six emergency stops on each side. It took over a decade to complete the project, during which its investor changed two times, and the completion deadline was delayed four times.

Developed under the build-operate-transfer model, the expressway required an investment of VND12,668 billion, including VND2,186 billion from the State budget and VND10,482 from the investor.

Addressing the opening ceremony, State President Nguyen Xuan Phuc spoke highly of the efforts made by Tien Giang Province, the investor and relevant agencies to complete the high-quality project.

He also suggested speeding up the progress of the My Thuan 2 Bridge and the My Thuan-Can Tho Expressway to complete the entire route from Trung Luong to Can Tho.

Nguyen Tan Dong, general director of BOT Trung Lương-My Thuan Joint Stock Company, the main contractor of the Trung Luong-My Thuan Expressway, said the project was severely affected by the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020 and 2021. Dozens of workers of the project were infected with the coronavirus while hundreds of engineers, officers and employees had to be quarantined.

Tien Giang Province and the investor had to suggest the Ministry of Health prioritize vaccines for workers of the project and mobilize employees from other regions.

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