Ben Luc – Long Thanh Expressway to Link Long An and Dong Nai Provinces
HCMC – On July 19, 2014, construction began on the Ben Luc – Long Thanh expressway. The four lane road will link Long An Province, in the Mekong Delta, with southern Dong Nai Province. The project, which has an investment capital of US$1.5 billion, is scheduled to be finished in 2018.
In attendance at the ground-breaking ceremony were such luminaries as Vietnam’s Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung, Japan’s Ambassador Mr. Hiroshi Fukada, and Chairman of the Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) People’s Committee, Le Hoang Quan.
The first phase of the expressway is being constructed by a consortium made up of Sumitomo Mitsui, Japan’s leading contractor, and the Civil Engineering Construction Corporation, a Vietnamese firm. Japan, already one of Vietnam’s largest investors, has been stepping up the number of projects that it is running in the country.
When finished, the expressway will stretch 57.1 km and will form part of the national highway running from the north to the south of the country. Additionally, the road includes 20 km of bridges, such as the Binh Khanh Bridge over the Soai Rap River and the Phuoc Khanh Bridge over the Long Tau River.
It is hoped that the new expressway will reduce traffic congestion on National Highway 1 in HCMC and National Highway 51 in Dong Nai.
The Ben Luc – Long Thanh expressway has been planned so that it provides close access to key areas in the two provinces. For example, the Long Hậu Industrial Park is located just five minutes (3 km) away from the expressway. The road will start at Ben Luc, in Long An province, then will pass through such areas as the Long Hậu Industrial Park, the Saigon Premier Terminal Port (SPCT), and will end at Long Thanh, in Dong Nai province.
Once the expressway is in operation there are plans to link it to the Asian Highway which, if completed, will run from Bangkok, Thailand, via Phnom Penh, Cambodia, to HCMC and Vung Tau in Vietnam.
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