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Wednesday, July 6, 2022

Plan allowing provinces to build North-South expressway project scrapped

The Saigon Times

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HCMC – The Government has withdrawn a plan that assigns cities and provinces to develop the North-South expressway project in the 2021-2025 period. The Ministry of Transport is now the only executing agency of the project.

In a document on the prefeasibility study for the project sent to the National Assembly (NA), the Government suggested the NA decide the investment plan for the project, which will include 12 subprojects totaling 729 kilometers. The 12 subprojects will be funded by the State, the local media reported.

After being completed, the rights to collect toll fees will be transferred to recover the State capital.

The project will need some 5,500 hectares of land. In the first phase, all 12 subprojects will have four lanes and allow for a designed speed of 80-120 kilometers an hour.

However, localities must clear the site for six-lane sections, except for those from Can Tho City to the Ca Mau Province, with four lanes.

The investment for the project was estimated at nearly VND147 trillion, including VND95.8 trillion for the construction and equipment, VND19 trillion for site clearance and resettlement, VND12 trillion for the project management, consulting and other expenditures and VND20 trillion for backup.

The project will be prepared in 2021-2022, while the technical design and site clearance work will be done in 2022-2023. Work on the project was expected to start in 2023 and be completed in 2025.

With this progress, by the end of 2025, some sections will be put into use. Sections including complicated items, such as large bridges and tunnels, will be completed in 2026.

Earlier, the Government suggested that the cities and provinces where the expressway would pass through would take responsibility for executing the 12 subprojects.

However, NA Chairman Vuong Dinh Hue said it would go against the laws on road traffic, State budget, construction, public investment and public asset management.

In addition, expressway projects require high levels of professionalism and experience. Cities and provinces lack experience in expressway development. Moreover, they are also focusing on the Covid-19 pandemic response, economic recovery and public investment disbursement.

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