The Vietnamese National Assembly approved on Tuesday afternoon a 729-kilometer extension to the eastern part of the country’s North-South Expressway.
Some 94 percent of 474 legislators gave a nod to the government’s spending VND146.99 trillion (US$6.47 billion) of the state budget to implement 12 projects on the expansion.
The projects will consume 5,481 hectares of land in total.
Of the 12 expressway projects, ten will have six lanes.
The other two on the Can Tho - Ca Mau Expressway will have four lanes each.
Construction on the projects will be carried out from now to basically reach completion in 2025.
The government passed a plan last September for Vietnam to have more than 5,000 kilometers of expressways by 2030 and almost double that by 2050.
Under the plan, the 2,000-kilometer eastern North-South Expressway from Lang Son Province to Ca Mau Province and the 1,200-kilometer western North-South Expressway linking Tuyen Quang and Kien Giang Provinces will be completed by 2050.
Since work started on the very first parts of the grand expressway project, Vietnam has taken 17 years to build 1,160 kilometers of expressways, far short of the original goal to have 5,870 kilometers built by 2020, according to news site VnExpress.