Extension to HCMC-Mekong Delta expressway opens to traffic
A section of Trung Luong – My Thuan Expressway. Photo by VnExpress/Hoang Nam
A ceremony was held Wednesday to put Trung Luong – My Thuan Expressway into service for the upcoming Lunar New Year.
Nguyen Tan Dong, CEO of BOT Trung Luong – My Thuan JSC, which built the expressway, said vehicles can travel from Ho Chi Minh City to Mekong Delta using the extension from Jan. 25 to 31, ahead of the Lunar New Year, which peaks on Feb. 1.
From Feb. 1 to 15, it could be used to travel in the opposite direction.
The Trung Luong – My Thuan Expressway links up with HCMC – Trung Luong Expressway in Chau Thanh District of Tien Giang Province. It passes through five of the province’s districts to join National Highway 30 at An Thai Trung Intersection in Cai Be District.
Thanks to the route, travel time from the city to Tien Giang Province in the delta will be shortened by 75 minutes to one hour and 45 minutes.
Stretching 51 kilometers (32 miles) long and 16 meters wide, it has 39 bridges and 14 overpasses in total, six emergency stops in each direction, and no emergency lanes.
Originally budgeted to cost VND14 trillion ($606 million) and expected to be completed in 2013, it was plagued by delays.
Last year, the cost was revised downwards to VND12 trillion after several adjustments, with the government ordering work to complete by 2021.
Since it opened to traffic in 2010, HCMC – Trung Luong Expressway has been the only expressway linking the delta, home to around 20 million people, with the rest of the nation.
Trung Luong – My Thuan briefly and partially opened to traffic last year for Tet.
The Tet holiday usually sees millions of people travel from HCMC and the nearby industrial provinces of Binh Duong and Dong Nai to their hometowns in the delta.
A reverse exodus occurs after the festival as people return to work.