HCMC – The Ministry of Transport is seeking permission from the prime minister to again extend the deadline for the Ben Luc–Long Thanh Expressway project until late September 2025 due to a budget shortfall.
This marked the second time the ministry asked for an extension for the project.
In a document sent to the prime minister, the ministry said the slow pace of capital disbursements has impeded the progress of the Ben Luc–Long Thanh Expressway project, putting it under suspension.
As a result, contractors have canceled construction contracts and filed lawsuits against the project’s developer, the Vietnam Expressway Corporation (VEC), forcing it to re-select contractors and thus fail to complete the project on time.
Further, VEC is seeking funding for the interchange of National Highway 51 and the Bien Hoa-Vung Tau Expressway project. This project is also projected to be completed by the third quarter of 2025.
Meanwhile, the ministry decided to reduce the budget for the Ben Luc–Long Thanh Expressway project by nearly VND1,250 billion to more than VND30,070 billion.
In the original plan, the project was to cost VND31.3 trillion, with loans of over VND13.6 trillion from the Asian Development Bank, nearly VND12 trillion from the Japan International Cooperation Agency and some VND5.7 trillion from domestic reciprocal funds.
Construction of the Ben Luc–Long Thanh Expressway began in mid-2014 and was scheduled for completion in 2019. The expressway is 57.8 kilometers long, connecting HCMC with its neighboring provinces of Dong Nai and Long An.
On July 22, 2020, the prime minister issued Decision 1131, extending the deadline to complete the project to December 31, 2023.