In September of 2014, a 245 km expressway which is the longest in its kind in Vietnam opened to traffic.
The expressway runs from Noi Bai in Hanoi to the provinces of Vinh Phuc, Phu Tho and Yen Bai prior to reaching Lao Cai. The Hanoi-Yen Bai section has four lanes for vehicles with a speed limit of 100kph. On the other hand, the Yen Bai-Lao Cai section has two lanes and a speed limit of 80 kph.
The expressway features 120 bridges, a 530 meter long tunnel, 13 toll collection stations and five rest stations.
More than 2,000 hectares of land were cleared, and over 25,000 households were relocated in the construction and building of the expressway.
The average 8 hours of travel via public transportation and train from Hanoi to Sapa including a taxi transfer from Lao Cai proper should be cut in half using this expressway. Private vehicles using the expressway won’t have to stop frequently and will use less fuel.
An upgrade to the route which links Noi Bai-Lao Cai expressway with that of Sapa town in Northern Vietnam is now underway.
The project has a total investment of around VND2.518 trillion or US$112.83 million and is carried out by build-BOT (operate-transfer) model. Under this framework, the developer concession is received from the public or private sector to design, finance, construct and operate a facility stated in the concession contract. This enables the project proponent to recover the investment, operation and maintenance expenses in the project.
The plan comprises of an upgrade of the 29.2 kilometers long National Highway 4D connecting Lao Cai City to Sapa, and building a 4 laned route which is the Provincial Road 155 crossing Sapa, Bat Xat District and Lao Cai City.
Vehicles taking the route from Lao Cai to Sapa shall travel on the National Highway 4D and those on the opposite direction will travel via the Provincial Road 155.
Deputy PM Phuc said that due to the region’s geographical features, this project requires more responsibility and effort from the contractors.
The construction is expected to be complete by the 1st quarter of 2019.