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Vietnam approves $905M expressway linking two provinces bordering China

A section of the Bac Giang-Lang Son Expressway that opens to traffic on September 29, 2019. Photo by VnExpress/Ba Do. Sketched by the Pan Pacific Agency.

HANOI, Aug 11, 2020, VN Express. PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc has approved a VND20.9 trillion ($905.3 million) expressway connecting Lang Son and Cao Bang provinces bordering China, VN Express reported.

The 115-kilometer-long expressway, running from an intersection of Tan Thanh border gate in Van Lang District of Lang Son Province and ending at an intersection of Tra Linh border economic zone in Cao Bang Province, will be implemented as a public-private partnership (PPP) project.

It has four 17-meter-wide lanes and will allow vehicles to ply at 80 kilometers per hour.

The expressway will be constructed in two phases.

The 2020-2024 first phase will see the construction of a 93-kilometer stretch from the Tan Thanh border gate to Quang Hoa District in Cao Bang at a cost of VND12.5 trillion ($ 540.4 million). The remaining 22 kilometers connected to Tra Linh border gate in Cao Bang will be built after 2025.

Currently, it takes cars five to six hours to cover the 280 kilometers from Hanoi to Cao Bang.

The new expressway, along with the Huu Nghi-Chi Lang expressway that is still under construction, will cut travel time from Hanoi to the border province of Cao Bang by half to 2-2.5 hours and boost trade between Vietnam and China.

The Transport Ministry last year added nearly 800 kilometers of new highways to the national plan, increasing the total length to 7,200 kilometers. The planned highways will cost VND1.33 quadrillion ($57.63 billion). Under the roadmap drawn by the ministry, 6,418 kilometers of the new highways will be built before 2030, and the remaining later.

Currently, Vietnam has nearly 1,000 kilometers of expressways, and expects to build another 900 kilometers by the end of 2021. Between 2021 and 2025, it aims to build an additional 2,000 kilometers.

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