Vietnam’s transport ministry on Monday sternly slammed leaders of a construction company responsible for developing an expressway connecting Da Nang and Quang Ngai Province in the country’s central region for their handling of damage on the notorious road.
Leaders of state-owned Vietnam Expressway Corporation (VEC), including its chairman and general director, came under criticism for the way the company managed repair works for multiple potholes that appeared on the expressway just weeks after opening.
The Da Nang – Quang Ngai Expressway, the first to be built in central Vietnam, stretches 139 kilometers and cost a whopping VND34.5 trillion (US$1.48 billion) to develop.
However, just weeks after its grand opening on September 2 this year, potholes measuring up to one meter long, 33-40 centimeters wide and around ten centimeters deep began to spring up along multiple sections of the expensive road.
Drivers complained about having to drive way under the speed limit of 120km over concerns for their own safety, while protesting the toll fee of $8-34 per vehicle they have to pay for such poor service.
Nguyen Tien Thanh, director of the management authority of the Da Nang – Quang Ngai Expressway, has blamed rainwater and fuel leaked from diesel-engine vehicles for degrading the road surface.
On Thursday last week, the transport ministry suspended VEC from collecting tolls until it properly repairs the numerous potholes riddling the road.
In another dispatch released Monday, the ministry said the repair works done so far have not been up to standard, giving rise to unfavorable public opinion.
The ministry therefore requested that the developer and relevant agencies make a thorough review of the damage on the expressway and take urgent measures to repair it while meeting technical and quality standards.
According to VEC general director Tran Van Tam, there are 70 square meters of road surface in need of repairing, which can be done by Wednesday afternoon if there is no rain.
The suspension of toll collection has affected the company’s revenue, he added, which averages around VND500-800 million ($21,400-34,300) daily.