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HCMC-Trung Luong Expy expansion needed as traffic increases

By Trung Chanh

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HCMC – The Directorate of Roads of Vietnam has proposed widening the HCMC-Trung Luong Expressway due to the soaring vehicle traffic volume, which is disrupting the movement of traffic.

The number of vehicles using the HCMC-Trung Luong Expressway has shot up significantly since the toll collection was suspended on January 1, 2019, according to the Directorate of Roads of Vietnam.

The number of automobiles traveling on the route was 38,500 a day prior to January 1, 2019. The figure has now soared by 35% to 52,000.

Vehicle traffic may double during peak vacations and the Tet holiday.

Heavy traffic on the HCMC-Trung Luong Expressway has caused operational difficulties, namely the use of emergency lanes by autos and trucks, and traffic congestion, according to the Directorate for Roads of Vietnam.

There were 126 accidents on the HCMC-Trung Luong Expressway in 2018. In 2019, the figure increased to 127, 151 in 2020, and 140 in 2021. Some 71 accidents were reported in the first six months of this year.

According to the Directorate for Roads of Vietnam, the HCMC-Trung Luong Expressway, in phase 1, has reportedly met transportation demands and safety standards after more than seven years of operation.

However, traffic along the entire route is likely to grow sharply once the under-construction Ben Luc-Long Thanh Expressway links with the HCMC-Trung Luong Expressway.

The traffic flow is expected to rise as a result of strong goods and passenger transportation growth in the Southeast and the Mekong Delta.

Hence, the Directorate for Roads of Vietnam suggested widening the HCMC-Trung Luong Expressway, in accordance with the plan approved by the Prime Minister.

The Trung Luong-My Thuan Expressway, which has only four lanes without an emergency lane, should also be upgraded, according to the agency.

The route welcomes an average of 18,600 vehicles per day. Some 20 traffic accidents occurred between April 30 and June 2.

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