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Monday, October 25, 2021

US$446m loan sought for expanding high-volume expressway

The Saigon Times

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HCMC – A project to expand the current HCMC-Long Thanh-Dau Giay expressway to address the high traffic volume will need an estimated VND13 trillion (over US$571 million).
Of the amount, around US$446.6 million should come from Japan’s official development assistance (ODA) loans and the rest from the Government’s reciprocal capital.

The My Thuan Project Management Board, which was assigned to study the expansion project, has sent the Ministry of Transport a proposal to borrow an ODA loan from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), according to local news reports.

The US$446.6 million loan would be used to cover construction costs, purchase equipment, pay for technical design consulting services, among others.

The Government’s reciprocal capital of over US$120 million would be utilized to pay VAT, and cover site clearance, project management and consulting costs.

The expanded section, which will account for nearly 24 kilometers of the expressway’s total length of 55 kilometers, will start from the An Phu intersection in HCMC’s Thu Duc City and end at a section connected with the Bien Hoa-Vung Tau Expressway section in Dong Nai Province. This section often sees slow traffic or congestion on weekends due to the high traffic volume.

The expanded section will be adjusted to eight lanes from the current four, allowing vehicles to travel at a maximum speed of 100-120 kilometers per hour. As for the two major bridges along the section, namely Song Tac and Long Thanh, they were proposed to be widened to 10 and nine lanes, respectively.

According to the My Thuan Project Management Board, JICA has shown interest in funding the expansion project. The Japanese agency had worked on and surveyed the section that needs expansion. The management board requested the Transport Ministry to consider and write to the relevant ministries about the proposal in order to report it to the prime minister.

The HCMC-Long Thanh-Dau Giay Expressway connects HCMC with the neighboring province of Dong Nai. The four-lane road was opened to traffic in 2015 with VND20.6 trillion in investment. As it is one of the key routes linking transportation and economic activities between HCMC and the Southeastern and Central Highlands provinces, it has been overwhelmed with a large volume of vehicles during holidays in recent years.

Accordingly, the expansion project is expected to increase the capacity of the expressway and enhance the connectivity in the region.

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