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Rach Mieu 2 bridge project in southern Vietnam sees cost overruns, delays

Rach Mieu 2 bridge project in southern Vietnam sees cost overruns, delays

Monday, May 29, 2023, 16:30 GMT+7
Rach Mieu 2 bridge project in southern Vietnam sees cost overruns, delays
The construction site of the Rach Mieu 2 bridge project in the Mekong Delta province of Ben Tre. Photo: Mau Truong / Tuoi Tre

The Ministry of Transport is seeking the government’s approval for an increase by over VND1.6 trillion (US$68.8 million) in the total cost for the Rach Mieu 2 bridge project spanning the Tien River in Vietnam’s Mekong Delta and a pushback of the project’s completion date to 2026 instead of 2025.

The ministry proposed the prime minister review and greenlight an increase in the cost of the project to VND6,800 billion ($292.3 million).

The cost for compensation and resettlement rose by VND1.96 trillion ($84.3 million), including VND1.5 trillion ($64.5 million) for affected households in Tien Giang Province and VND485 billion ($20.9 million) for those in Ben Tre Province, according to the Ministry of Transport.

The ministry attributed the cost overruns to an update in the number of revoked land lots and land prices, which led to a jump of VND1.7 trillion ($73.1 million) in the compensation and site clearance cost.

Changes in the compensation for houses, trees, crops, and facilities of residents and support policies resulted in a rise of some VND203 billion ($8.7 million).

The cost for the site clearance work also rose by VND46.7 billion ($2 million).

However, the construction and equipment expenses fell by VND96.4 billion ($4.1 million), and the project management and consultancy costs dropped by VND92.9 billion ($4 million).

The contingency cost was also lower than expected by VND140 billion ($6 million), which will be used for compensation and resettlement in the two provinces.

Regarding the delay in the planned completion time of the project, the Ministry of Transport blamed it on the slow site clearance, saying that the section in Tien Giang would not be commenced until the last quarter of this year.

The XL-02 package to construct the cable-stayed bridge will be executed in 34 months. It was planned to be finished in the first quarter of 2026.

The prime minister approved the bridge project, which links Tien Giang and Ben Tre, in 2020 with an investment of some VND5.2 trillion ($223.1 million), funded by the state budget.

The project was initially planned to be carried out between 2021 and 2025.

It kicked off on March 29 last year and the workload of six construction packages has reached 9.1 percent of the contract value.

The site clearance for the project was separated into a subproject, which was assigned to localities.

Tien Giang has handed over the site for 3.68 out of 7.95 kilometers of the bridge section in its precincts and Ben Tre has cleared the site for 7.98 out of 8.65 kilometers, meeting 46.3 and 83 percent, respectively.

The slow site clearance has impeded the execution of the project.

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Thanh Ha - Tuan Phung / Tuoi Tre News

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