Three national highways connecting Vietnam with northern Laos and China are expected to undergo upgrades at a cost of over VND9.4 trillion (US$386.5 million), according to the Department for Roads of Vietnam.
The department proposed the Ministry of Transport allow the former to upgrade two sections of National Highways 279, 4H in Dien Bien Province, northern Vietnam and another section of National Highway 217 in the north-central province of Thanh Hoa, the Vietnam News Agency reported.
In this road upgrade plan, the 38km-long section of National Highway 279 from Dien Bien District to Tay Trang international border gate, which links Dien Bien with Laos, would be widened to 12 meters and have two lanes.
The National Highway 4H and 217 sections subject to the expansion measure over 94 kilometers and over 52 kilometers long, respectively.
Of the total estimated investment, around VND7.5 trillion ($309 million) worth of loans borrowed from the World Bank is set to cover fees for construction, equipment purchase, consulting services, and others.
The remaining amount will be backed by the country’s reciprocal capital to pay for project management, consulting services, site clearance, and other taxes and fees.
This road upgrade project is set to be implemented in the 2025-29 period after a grant agreement inked between the World Bank and the project’s developer comes into effect, the department said.
If the project gets a green light from the central government, it will satisfy the growing need for transport and shorten the distance needed for vehicles to travel between border gates and seaports, helping reduce logistic costs and boosting trade between Vietnam and northern Laos and China, a leader of the department said.