Work begins on $145 mln bridge in southern Vietnam

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     The perspective of the Cao Lanh Bridge. Photo courtesy of Tuoi Tre newspaper

Construction of a two-kilometer bridge spanning the Tien River in the Mekong Delta started Saturday with an investment of US$145 million.

The Cao Lanh Bridge, which links Cao Lanh Town and Lap Vo District in Dong Thap Province, will have four lanes for motorized vehicles to run at a speed of 80 kilometers per hour and two other lanes for non-motorized ones.

Funded by non-refundable aid from the Australian government, a loan from the Asia Development Bank and Vietnamese government capital, the cable-stayed bridge is expected to be used by 170,000 people a day once completed in 2017.

"The Cao Lanh Bridge will directly benefit the lives of five million Vietnamese [in the delta] by stimulating private sector investment and local industry, boosting Vietnam's exports, and improving access to social and health services," Senator Brett Mason, Australia's Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Foreign Affairs, said at the groundbreaking ceremony.

The Cao Lanh Bridge is the single largest Australian aid activity on mainland Southeast Asia. It is one of three infrastructure projects that make up the broader Central Mekong Delta Connectivity Project.  The project is comprised of two high cable-stayed bridges with a combined length of 5 kilometers and an additional 25 kilometers of connecting roads.

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