La Son - Tuy Loan Expressway being put into use contributing to reducing the distance between regions
The road of dreams
On this occasion, we returned to the highway with many of our relatives to experience this modern road because we had only heard and seen it in newspapers and television beforehand. Vehicles could travel at high speed right from the starting point of the highway La Son (Loc Son Commune, Phu Loc District). One, then two and three cars with flashing lights and horns started to turn at the intersection through the center of Nam Dong District towards Da Nang City. I could feel that the drivers did not run at specified speed according to the signs because they were still probing and experiencing.
A friend of mine, Th. shared: “I have traveled on many highways but have never been so impressed like this place before. The road here is as smooth as a train winding through picturesque cliffs.”
Mr. Le Quang H., driving a Ford Transit car from Da Nang City to Hue City on this highway, commented: “The road is smooth and clean, and the passengers love it. Besides, to travel from Da Nang to Hue if going along this highway, it only takes about 30 minutes to reach Nam Dong, which is nearly 2/3 less time as compared to driving from Da Nang to Hue on the Highway 1A as before.
Doctor Ho Thu, former Director of Nam Dong District Medical Center considered La Son - Tuy Loan Expressway a "green road", which creates new development opportunities for people in the western highlands of Thua Thien Hue.
Having worked in Nam Dong for over 30 years, Dr. Thu understands the traveling issues faced by local people, especially before the year 2000. That many patients could not receive treatment in time, and many young medical graduates were hesitant to travel to Nam Dong to work resulted from the hardships of traveling from Hue to Nam Dong which had entailed many difficulties for a long time.
Mr. Tran Quoc Phung, Chairman of Nam Dong District People's Committee, while holding the position of Chief of Office of the District People's Committee, had expected that there would soon be a wide road from Nam Dong to National Highway 1A at La Son (Phu Loc) to make a breakthrough for the upland district lying in a "dead end" position. The expectations of him and the people of Nam Dong were realized when the construction of La Son - Tuy Loan Expressway started. At that time, Mr. Tran Quoc Phung was the Chairman of the People's Committee of Nam Dong District through which the highway passed more than 35km. This caused many problems, but he committed to working together to address the issues very soon, especially the clearance work.
On this occasion, Mr. Tran Quoc Phung shared that the opening of La Son - Tuy Loan Expressway had created a new impetus for Nam Dong and neighboring localities to develop. Vehicles and goods from different places are exchanged more conveniently when the transportation journey is shortened. Many investors have been pouring capital into the fields of tourism, services, and processing industry whereas new business and trade activities are opening in this highland district.
Signboards making it easy for drivers to navigate
According to the plan, La Son - Tuy Loan Expressway would be completed and put into use by the end of 2019. However, due to objective factors, especially the adjustments in some sections through Da Nang City, the project’s progress is slower than as planned.
Prior to April when the expressway was open to traffic, the delegation of the Ministry of Transport led by Deputy Minister Le Dinh Tho inspected the entire road for the last time and recorded the completion of the 66km long La Son - Hoa Lien section, which belonged to La Son - Tuy Loan Expressway. The Deputy Minister noted that some minor items in the frontage roads, barriers, signs, etc., needed handling, adjusting, or installing for safety purposes.
Mr. Bui Quang Hue, Deputy Head of Project Operation Department 4, Management Board of Ho Chi Minh Road Project (the investor of La Son - Tuy Loan Expressway Project) said that after grasping the direction of the Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Transport, the unit directed and urged contractors to expeditiously execute and complete the existing works of this expressway.
Among which, there are many points where the taluses have been eroded due to storms. The Management Board is urgently mobilizing manpower and machinery to remove the debris. At locations with high risk of landslides, such as the section through Huong Loc and Huong Phu Communes (Nam Dong) and Da Nang City, the Management Board has erected gabion temporary wall at the foot of taluses to ensure safety. In addition, the Management Board coordinated with local authorities to close all the points where people spontaneously removed barriers to enter the highway.
According to the leader of the Ho Chi Minh Road Project Management Board, up to this point, La Son - Tuy Loan Expressway has been handed over to the Directorate for Roads of Vietnam to soon have a management plan.
La Son - Tuy Loan Expressway has the starting point at La Son junction (Loc Son Commune, Phu Loc District, Thua Thien Hue), and the ending point at Tuy Loan intersection (Hoa Phong Commune, Hoa Vang District, Da Nang City). By design, this expressway is 77.5km long, 22m wide and has 2 lanes in phase I. All vehicles traveling on the highway and through the Mui Trau tunnel located on the road pay no toll, and can run at a speed of 60- 80km/h. Besides, rudimentary vehicles are not allowed to circulate on this road to reduce the traffic on National Highway 1A.
In the upcoming time, the Management Board will continue to invest in phase II, expanding this expressway to 4 lanes with standard scale and connecting to the North - South expressway system. This will contribute to promoting economic development in cities and provinces within the Central Region.
The construction of La Son - Tuy Loan Expressway receives the investment in the form of BT (Build-Transfer) contract from a Japanese bank loan with a Government guarantee (a loan of $510 million equivalent to the investor's capital must be mobilized to implement the project, about VND 10,500 billion). Particularly, Hoa Lien - Tuy Loan section has been separated to receive investment in phase 2 with public investment capital.
Story: Song Minh
Photos: Nguyen Phong