Danang-Quang Ngai Expressway gets off ground

Le Anh and Le Nhu

Governmental offi cials press the button to kick off construction of Danang-Quang Ngai Expressway - Photo: Le Nhu

Governmental offi cials press the button to kick off construction of Danang-Quang Ngai Expressway - Photo: Le Nhu

Work starts on final tunnels of National Highway 1A

Starting from Tuy Loan T-junction in Danang City’s Hoa Vang District to the belt road of Quang Ngai City, the expressway is a major project of the north-south expressway and invested by Vietnam Expressway Corporation.

Having four lanes and a designed vehicular speed of 120 kilometers per hour, the project consists of over 100 small and large bridges having a total length of nearly nine kilometers, a 540-meter tunnel, 14 intersections and other works.

The project costs some US$1.47 billion, with US$631 million sourced from the World Bank to build the 65-kilometer section from Danang City to Quang Nam Province’s Tam Ky City.

Meanwhile, the 74-kilometer section from Tam Ky City to Quang Ngai City needs US$673 million and will be financed by loans of the Japan International Cooperation Agency. The project’s remaining investment capital is sourced from the State budget.

Danang-Quang Ngai Expressway will be equipped with the Intelligent Transport System (ITS) consisting of toll stations, camera system and vehicle weight control system. The project also includes supporting works such as management center and rest stops.

In addition to reducing the transport duration between Danang, Quang Nam and Quang Ngai, the expressway will help open up investment opportunities in central provinces and ease the traffic overload on National Highway 1A. It also facilitates the transport between Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia via East-West Economic Corridor to seaports in central Vietnam.

In related news, the Ministry of Transport last Saturday kicked off construction of Phuoc Tuong and Phu Gia tunnels which are the final tunnels constructed on National Highway 1A. Both tunnels are in the central province of Thua Thien-Hue.

According to the ministry, Phuoc Tuong tunnel is 345 meters long plus approach roads measuring 3,460 meters, while the 497-meter Phu Gia tunnel has a linking road of 2,470 meters. Constructed under the build-operate-transfer format, the project costs VND1.743 trillion, or some US$80 million.

The tunnels are set for completion late next year. Besides, the payback period is estimated to last 18 years and seven months with toll collection starting from 2015 at one toll station to the north of Phuoc Tuong tunnel and another one to the south of Phu Gia tunnel.

After completion, the two tunnels will shorten the traveling time, contribute to the socioeconomic development of central provinces, meet the increasing transport demand as well as reduce traffic congestion and accidents in the areas.

Currently, Hai Van Pass Tunnel has been in operation for years, while Ca Pass Tunnel is under construction and is expected to open to traffic in 2016 in coincidence with the completion of the expanded National Highway 1A.