Construction resumes after almost 4 years on Vietnam’s Ben Luc – Long Thanh Expressway

Construction News Vietnam

Construction resumes after almost 4 years on Vietnam’s Ben Luc – Long Thanh Expressway

Workers have returned to build a section of Ben Luc – Long Thanh Expressway in Dong Nai Province after the project was suspended for almost four years.

Work started on Ben Luc – Long Thanh Expressway nine years ago, but since 2019 it has stalled after the former contractor refused to continue working due to financing issues.

The expressway runs 57.7 km between Long An Province in the Mekong Delta and Dong Nai industrial hub, passing through Ho Chi Minh City.

Once complete, it will be the longest highway in southern Vietnam.

Costing VND31 trillion ($1.34 billion), the project uses investment loans from the Japan International Cooperation Agency, the Asian Development Bank and the Vietnamese government.

Explaining the lateness, the state-run Vietnam Expressway Corporation (VEC) in charge of the project said that several construction packages had been stalled as contractors had refused to continue working due to funding issues, although the site clearance process had been completed.

The government has recently solved the funding issue by allowing the VEC to use its own funds generated from operating other expressways.

The construction site of a bridge crossing the Thi Vai River, the natural border between Dong Nai and Ba Ria-Vung Tau provinces.

With construction back on track, more than 200 workers and engineers have been gathered to complete the bridge.

Engineer Bui Duc Ai said: “As now is the rainy season, we have to work at night too to make up for periods when heavy rains tamper working progress.”

Stretching 3.3 km long, the bridge is the most important item of the expressway section in Dong Nai.

Engineer Hung said he and his team “are excited to finish the project as soon as possible.”

According to the construction unit, the bridge will stand 9 m from the water.

Last June, the VEC asked the government’s permission to extend the expressway’s completion deadline from 2023 to the third quarter of 2025.

Four months later, National Assembly Chairman Vuong Dinh Hue ordered the project’s investor to finish it in 2024.

He said the expressway was an important route of the Southern Key Economic Zone, which comprises HCMC and seven provinces.

It will connect to Dong Nai’s Long Thanh Airport, which is under construction to replace HCMC’s Tan Son Nhat Airport as Vietnam’s biggest.