HCM CITY — The Ministry of Transport has urged localities in the southeast region to speed up major transport projects by diversifying the sources of capital over the next five years.
Speaking at a recent online meeting, Nguyễn Văn Thể, Minister of Transport, said: “A lack of regional connectivity and overloaded roads at major gateways remains an issue in the region.”
Thể has urged localities in the region to speed up implementation of major projects in the region in the 2021-2025 period, with priority given to the expansion of HCM City – Long Thành – Dầu Giây expressway, and construction of Bến Lức – Long Thành expressway, Biên Hòa – Vũng Tàu expressway, HCM City – Mộc Bài, and Ring Roads 2 and 3.
Other projects include construction of the Long Thành – Thủ Thiêm light railway connecting HCM City to the new Long Thành airport, and the expansion of Provincial Road 25C from HCM City to Đồng Nai Province.
Recently, PM Nguyễn Xuân Phúc approved the Ministry of Transport’s proposal to give HCM City the authority to approve investment decisions for the HCM City-Mộc Bài Expressway.
The 53.5km-long expressway will link Ring Road No 3 in HCM City’s Hóc Môn District with Mộc Bài International Border Gate between Việt Nam and Cambodia in Tây Ninh Province.
The expressway project will be divided into two investment phases. Its total capital is estimated at nearly VNĐ13.6 trillion (US$586.8 million), including cost for site clearance sourced from the State budget.
The first stage will cost VNĐ10.7 trillion (($461.7 million) under a Public-Private Partnership investment.
Construction is expected to be completed by 2025 with at least four lanes, and will be expanded to six or eight lanes by 2045.
The HCM City Department of Transport has asked the Ministry of Planning and Investment to allocate VNĐ3.281 trillion in the 2021-2025 period to widen the HCM City – Long Thành – Dầu Giây Expressway and its surrounding roads.
Trần Văn Thi, director of the Mỹ Thuận Project Management Board, said that expansion of the expressway was urgently needed to ease overloading, especially when the Long Thành international airport opens at the end of 2025.
He said that a 24km section of the expressway, connecting HCM City with Long Thành international airport, should be implemented first.
He also asked the Ministry of Transport and the Ministry of Planning and Investment to allocate medium-term capital sources for the 2021-2025 period with priority given to the use of state budget or from official development assistance (ODA).
The southeast region, which accounts for 40 per cent of the country’s total budget revenue and 38 per cent GDP, is the focal economic region in Việt Nam, according to Thể.
It includes HCM City and Bà Rịa-Vũng Tàu, Bình Dương, Bình Phước, Đồng Nai, and Tây Ninh provinces. However, the region’s transport structure is far below the needs of its economic and social growth potential.
There are only two expressways in the region: the HCM City-Long Thành-Dầu Giây and HCM City-Trung Lương.
Road transport plays a key role in the region, serving about 80 per cent of all freight transport from the provinces in the region to HCM City, causing serious congestion on HCM City-Trung Lương Expressway and National Road 51.
The National Road 22 from HCM City to Tây Ninh Province has also become congested with the number of vehicles increasing by 8 per cent annually, according to the Ministry of Transport.
The Cái Mép – Thị Vải deep-water port in Bà Rịa – Vũng Tàu Province is the international gateway to the region. The port is one of more than 20 ports in the world that can be accessed by container ships of over 200,000 tonnes.
When the first phase of Long Thành international airport in Đồng Nai Province opens slated for 2025, a new hub of the aviation industry will be formed in the region.
Experts said the region should focus on investment in traffic infrastructure to enhance linkages between the port, the international airport and industrial parks in the region to boost socio-economic development. — VNS