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Wednesday, October 5, 2022

HCMC, three neighboring provinces to build 76-km beltway

The Saigon Times

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HCMC – HCMC and three neighboring provinces are ramping up efforts to develop a 76.3-km beltway and open it to traffic in 2026.

This is a big-ticket infrastructure project as it will need VND75.37 trillion (US$3.3 billion) and pass through HCMC, Dong Nai, Binh Duong and Long An.

The National Assembly Standing Committee on May 12 met to look into the Beltway 3 project which had been presented by the Government.

Speaking to the committee, Phan Van Mai, chairman of the government of HCMC, which acts as the lead investor of the project, said HCMC and the three other provinces would try their best to get the road ready by 2026.

The road will have four lanes initially, and allow for a maximum speed of 80 kilometers per hour.

Vu Hong Thanh, head of the NA’s Economic Committee, said the Standing Committee concurred that it is necessary to build the road, but added that it could be hard to ensure the project would be complete as planned.

The NA Economic Committee required more measures linked to capital disbursement, resources allocation to be adopted to ensure the progress and quality of the project. Also, whether a road parallel with the Beltway should be built or not must be clarified as the costs needed to build the parallel road is much higher than the main route, the Economic Committee said.

In response, HCMC chairman Phan Van Mai said the beltway is an urban expressway, so the parallel road plays a crucial role. In the first phase, the parallel road would be built in residential areas along the beltway.

Mai proposed the NA Standing Committee ask the NA for permission to apply a special mechanism to help handle a huge amount of work and capital for the project.

HCMC sought approval to appoint contractors for consulting packages, especially for site clearance and compensation. Meanwhile, competitive tenders would be held for road construction packages to ensure transparency.

“Executing the project in the upcoming time would be challenging to HCMC and the three provinces. We will continue to work and are determined to complete the project by the end of 2025 to put it into service in 2026,” Mai added.

The NA will hold its third session in late May.

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