The seven contractors and consultants responsible for a US$132 million highway that sank soon after opening have been banned from working on public transport projects for three years, Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper reported.
Transport Minister Dinh La Thang announced his decision in a message sent both to Project Management Unit No.2 and the Dai Duong BOT (build-own-transfer) JSC in Hanoi--which invested in the upgrades to Highway 18.
A 30-kilometer portion of the highway in Ha Long sank a week after opening to traffic on May 18.
Ministry inspectors found asphalt had been skimmed from sunken portions of the road and almost no rock powder had been used to stabilize the temperature of the road.
Related agencies have been called in to fix the damages and toll collections will be suspended until they are completed.
The five faulty contractors include the Construction and Transport Company No.1, a member of Thanh An Corporation, Minh Tam Commerce Company, Hong Lac Transport Company, and Thanh Thang Construction and Investment Company, all of which are private firms based in and around Hanoi.
The censured consultants are the Ho Chi Minh City-based Southern Transport Engineering Design JSC (which provided design consultancy), and a joint venture between the Sao Khue Investment and Trade Promotion Corp. and the Hanoi-based Newline Design Consultancy and Investment JSC (which helped supervise the project).
They will not participate in upgrades to the next 77-kilometer portion of the road which connects Ha Long to nearby Bac Ninh Province.
In other news, the ministry has also sacked the state-owned Song Hong JSC and Duc Long contractor for breaching its contract on the Central Highlands portion of the north-south Ho Chi Minh Road.
Duc Long failed to deploy enough resources as committed which allowed construction to drag on.
Song Hong meanwhile hired unqualified sub-contractors without obtaining the required permits from the ministry.
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