A US$2-billion expressway from Hanoi to Hai Phong was fully opened to traffic on Saturday, reducing travel time between the two major northern cities by more than half to only one hour.
The six-lane road of 106 kilometers and 30 meters wide is designed for a maximum speed of 120 kilometers per hour.
It is the first in Vietnam built with polymer modified bitumen, a road surfacing material that helps reduce sinkage.
Construction started in September 2008, connecting a Hanoi’s belt way in Long Bien District and Dinh Vu Port in Hai Phong, with sections traveling through Hung Yen and Hai Duong Provinces. The part of the road from Hanoi to Hung Yen was opened earlier this year.
The project was developed by state-owned construction giant Vinaconex and Saigon Investment Holding Corporation, which is a subsidiary of Vietnam Rubber Group. Funding came from two major lenders Vietnam Development Bank and Vietcombank Vietnam.
There will be several toll stations which, together, will charge between VND160,000 for vehicles smaller than 12 seats and VND840,000 (US$7-38) for trucks of more than 18 tons.
The government has allowed the investors to collect the tolls and provide automobile services along the road to recover the investment.