A new traffic tunnel through a mountain range in south-central Vietnam has been opened, shortening the journey from its current 60 minutes to 10 minutes.
A ceremony was organized on Monday morning to mark the official opening of the tunnel through CaPass, which lies along the border of Phu Yen and Khanh Hoa Provinces, following six years of construction.
Spanning a total of 4,125 meters, the Ca Pass Tunnel is the country’s largest tunnel project and carried out under a BOT (build-operate-transfer) contract.
BOT is a project-financing framework in which the developer receives a concession from the private or public sector to finance, design, construct and operate a facility for a certain period, during which it has to raise funds for, and is entitled to retain all revenues generated by the project.
The facility is then transferred to the public administration at the end of the agreed concession period.
The underground passage will help shorten the journey around the mountain from 60 minutes to 10 minutes.
Vehicles will be allowed to travel through the tunnel free-of-charge between August 25 and September 2.
Starting from September 3, travelers are expected to pay a service fee of between VND60,000 (US$2.64) and VND288,000 ($12.67) depending on their vehicles.
The Ca Pass stretches 12 kilometers, including 98 bends, of which 10 are considered extremely dangerous.
Another of the country’s most difficult passes, the Hai Van Pass, which divides Thua Thien-Hue Province and Da Nang City in the central region had a tunnel built through it in 2005.
A tunnel cutting Cu Mong Pass along the border of Binh Dinh and Phu Yen Provinces in south-central Vietnam is also expected to be competed in 2019.
|The first vehicles travel through the Ca Pass Tunnel on August 21, 2017. Photo: Tuoi Tre|