The 550-kilometre highway will traverse the northern port city of Hai Phong, Quang Ninh, Thai Binh, Nam Dinh, Ninh Binh and Thanh Hoa provinces.
Minister of Planning and Investment Nguyen Chi Dung, said that without such a route, the six cities won’t be able to connect, wasting potential development opportunities.
Dung said the ministry has received investment plans from all six provinces, but each differs on the scale, direction, mechanism and resources for the route. Meanwhile, it is necessary to unify the direction, scale and importance of connecting with each other to promote effectiveness, he said.
While Nam Dinh wants to prioritise building a highway, other provinces prefer the coastal plan.
“It has been suggested that for some sections we can build highways, and for others we could build coastal roads. But the important thing is that there must be a way to connect these routes,” Dung said.
“We can’t just base the design of the traffic network on current needs, but we have to think about the bigger picture for the development of the whole region, the whole country. We have learned our lessons: due to short-term visions we have faced the need to upgrade and expand traffic projects, and to make connecting routes. We have paid the price, that’s why we should avoid such mistakes this time,” he said, adding that provinces should be united in the development of the whole region rather than just for their locality.
Specifically, Quang Ninh province will deploy the 88-kilometer-long Ha Long-Van Don route, of which approximately 55 km is planned to be adjacent to the sea in accordance with coastal road planning. The Van Don-Mong Cai expressway has been proposed by the province to be a public-private partnership project (PPP) and the province has proposed that the central budget support 1.8 billion VND (80 million USD) for site clearance.
Nam Dinh and Ninh Binh provinces have proposed that the Prime Minister approve the policy of investing in coastal highways through Ninh Binh and Nam Dinh in the form of PPP.
Thanh Hoa province also asked the Government to approve its route section in the form of PPP with a length of 61 km, and total investment of 7.5 trillion VND (330 million USD).
Along with coastal road planning, in March 2016, the Prime Minister approved the development plan for Vietnam’s expressway network to 2020 with a vision to 2030.
After these two plans, localities began to propose their own ideas for the construction of the sections in their areas.
"Hopefully in the next 3-4 years, we will build this road and create a breakthrough for the Red River Delta provinces," said Minister of Planning and Investment Nguyen Chi Dung.
The project is scheduled to be completed by 2020, except for some sections that will pass through Thai Binh and Nam Dinh provinces, which will be completed after 2020.
The detailed plan was approved in January 2010.
“Once the route is completed, the burden and pressure on the capital city of Hanoi will be eased, while we will realise the potential of these areas,” said Truong Quang Nghia, Minister of Transport.VNA