Phan Van Khai (third left) launches construction
of the Can Tho Bridge. VNA/VNS Photo The Thuan
CAN THO —
Prime Minister Phan Van Khai launched construction of the Can Tho
Bridge spanning the Hau River on Saturday. When completed, it will
be the longest cable-stayed bridge in Southeast Asia.
expected to be completed in 2008, will make ferries along Viet Nam
National Highway 1A a thing of the past, said the Prime Minister.
2.75km-long bridge spanning the Mekong River tributary will link
Vinh Long Province with Hau Giang Province, and have a 4-lane
carriageway measuring 26m in width. It will also have a clearance
of 39 metres, which will allow large ships to pass underneath.
new bridge will certainly help develop the Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta
and at the same time make the region more beautiful," said
Khai. "Despite great potential, the Cuu Long Delta,
recognised as Viet Nam’s biggest granary and largest source of
seafood and fruit farms, has still been left behind by other
regions in the country."
more bridges will be built to facilitate access to the region by
2020. In addition to National Highway 1A, the Ho Chi Minh Highway
running from the north to Ca Mau through Rach Gia in Kien Giang
Province is under construction. Also to be built is a road running
along the coast from HCM City to Can Duoc, Ben Tre and Ca Mau.
bridges will be built on these highways in the Cuu Long Delta in
the next 15 years, the prime minister said. In addition, ports and
airports will also be developed.
of Japanese contractors, including Taisei Corporation, Kajima
Corporation and Nippon Steel Corporation, under the supervision of
consultant Nippon Koei-Chodai, will construct the Can Tho Bridge
at a total cost of VND4,832 billion (US$342.6 million), making it
not only the longest, but also the most expensive bridge in the
the project will come from the Japan International Co-operation
Agency’s technical assistance fund, an ODA loan from the Japan
Bank of International Co-operation (JBIC) and the Vietnamese
will significantly improve the Cuu Long Delta’s accessibility
from the commercial and industrial centre of HCM City, thus
promoting the distribution of products and the industrial
development of the Delta, said the chief representative of JBIC’s
Ha Noi office, Masayuki Karasawa.
groundbreaking ceremony, the Japanese consul general in HCM City,
Osamu Shiozaki, reminded the audience that since Japan resumed
official development assistance (ODA) for Viet Nam in 1992, it has
provided $7.4 billion.
has helped Viet Nam build some 70 new bridges with total length of
more than 13 km on National Highway 1A, said Minister of Transport
Dao Dinh Binh.
The Can Tho
Bridge will be an impetus for the socio-economic development of
southern Viet Nam and the Cuu Long Delta in particular, he said.
ensure smooth traffic on National Highway 1A in the Cuu Long Delta
until the Can Tho Bridge is complete," Binh said.
The Can Tho
Bridge will provide a much needed alternative for traffic that
must now use ferries to cross the river. According to the
Transport Ministry, the Can Tho ferries will carry 15,000 vehicles
a day by 2005, a number that could rise to more than 29,500 by
2010 and 75,000 by 2020.
digital image of the Can Tho Bridge Project, which
will span the Hau River in the Mekong Delta. —
VNS File Photo
Quang, 47, captain of Ferry C200 at Can Tho Ferry Wharf, said most
of his staff are expected to move to a new ferry wharf when the
Can Tho Bridge is completed.
this could affect our lives in the future, I supported the bridge
project because it will help improve the lives of the 20 million
people in the Cuu Long Delta," Quang said.
resident of Binh Thuy District in Can Tho City, said the completed
Can Tho Bridge could help create good jobs for his two children
now in university and high school.
Australian-built My Thuan Bridge over the Tien River, a tributary
of the Mekong River, is now Viet Nam’s longest cable-stayed
bridge. Viet Nam received two-thirds of the funding for the $72
million bridge from Australia in the form of non-refundable aid.
1,535m in length with a clearance height of 37.5m, was opened to
traffic in 2000.
manufacturing plant inaugurated
Minister Phan Van Khai opened a truck and bus manufacturing plant
for the Transport, Construction and Mechanical Engineering
Joint-Stock Company (Tracomeco) in HCM City on Sunday.
the Viet Nam automobile industry should aim to meet growing
domestic demand and eventually aim to compete with regional and
should map out strategies to produce more locally made vehicle
parts, said the PM.
He asked the
Transport Ministry and the Viet Nam Automobiles Corporation to
outline measures to manufacture products with Vietnamese
trademarks in the coming years.
million plant on 4ha in Thu Duc District will have an annual
production capacity of 2,000 buses and 10,000 trucks.
products will mainly supply the southern market, said Nguyen Van
Khoa, general director of the State-owned Viet Nam Automobiles
Corporation, which is the main shareholder in Tracomeco.
products will contain 40 per cent locally made parts this year,
which should increase to 80 per cent in the near future, Khoa
The plant is
equipped with production technology from leading Korean car maker
Hyundai, with its first vehicles expected to roll off the assembly
line this December. — VNS