HCMC – The Vietnam Expressway Corporation (VEC) has proposed expanding the Yen Bai-Lao Cai Expressway, part of the Noi Bai-Lao Cao Expressway, from two to four lanes. The project requires an estimated VND8.74 trillion (US$377.2 million).
In a proposal sent to the Ministry of Transport, VEC stated that having been put into operation for eight years, the Yen Bai-Lao Cai Expressway had showed problems. The actual average speed of vehicles is some 50 kilometers per hour, much lower than the designed speed of 80 kilometers per hour as vehicles found it hard to pass others in the mixed-purpose lane, posing a high risk of traffic accidents, news site Vietnamplus reported.
In addition, the road has failed to meet the scale and traffic safety requirements. Therefore, the expansion of the expressway is needed, according to the Directorate for Roads of Vietnam.
Moreover, in a decision approving the Noi Bai-Lao Cai Expressway, the Ministry of Transport said the second phase of the project would be carried out after 2020.
VEC will mobilize capital to expand the 83-kilometer expressway from two to four lanes with a width of 24 meters. After being expanded, the expressway can allow a maximum speed of 100 kilometers per hour.
Of the total investment, nearly VND5.7 trillion will be used to expand the expressway and some VND3.1 trillion to build three bridges along the road.
Work on the Noi Bai-Lao Cao Expressway started in April 2009. It is one of the largest expressway projects in Vietnam with a length of 245 kilometers, passing through Hanoi, Vinh Phuc, Phu Tho, Yen Bai and Lao Cai.
The expressway, with an investment of over US$1.46 billion, was opened to traffic on September 21, 2014.