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Vietnam Proposes New Hanoi-Saigon Highway

Vietnam’s Ministry of Transport recently proposed the construction of a 1,372-kilometer expressway connecting Hanoi and Saigon.

The new expressway would alleviate traffic congestion on the overloaded National Highway 1, Vice Minister of Transport Nguyen Nhat told VnExpress.

The highway project would be part of a larger, 1,800-kilometer national expressway that is already in the works. Currently, 470 kilometers of the national expressway project are under construction and expected to reach completion by 2020. In addition, the proposed road would accommodate maximum speeds of 120 kilometers per hour.

If the proposal is approved by July 2017, the VND236.3 trillion (US$10.2 billion) project will start no later than May 2019 and finish construction in December 2022. The government would cover 40% of the total cost while private investors would take care of the rest.

According to another recent article from VnExpress, the Ministry of Finance, however, cautions that the state’s budget does not allow funding for the proposed expressway unless the timeline of the project is adjusted.

“The project should seek cooperation from foreign companies that can secure loans at reasonable interest rates,” the ministry said in a statement regarding the 60% of funding from private investors. 

Last March, the government unveiled plans to expand the national expressway network to 6,411 kilometers by 2030. If everything goes according to plan, 2,500 kilometers of the network will be finished in 2020.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Transport’s earlier proposal of a Hanoi-HCMC high-speed railway was rejected. Part of the reason for its rejection was the price tag, estimated at US$56 billion, however the ministry is currently attempting to revise the plan for resubmission.

[Photo via Zing]

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