||The Project's main objective is to lower transport costs, thereby promoting economic growth and thus indirectly contributing to reducing poverty in the project area. The Project will (i) strengthen connectivity between the NHTS and local road network; (ii) reduce transport prices, and improve travel time and comfort; (iii) provide better access to markets, services, jobs, growth centers and isolated communities; (iv) improve road safety, transport services, roadside stations management, corporate governance and asset management and maintenance practice; (v) increase traffic between western provinces and connection to the seaports in GZAR; and (vi) improve access to the Vietnam border and the GMS. The project scope comprises: (i) construction of a 188 km four-lane access-controlled toll expressway, including about 25 km of connecting roads, 11 interchanges, 12 toll stations, 3 traffic control centers, 8 roadside stations, 4 asset management centers; (ii) upgrading of about 250 km of intercounty roads and 500 km of minority villages roads; (iii) procurement of equipment for asset management, maintenance, training, and expressway toll collection, surveillance, communications, safety, and vehicle-weighing stations; (vi) land acquisition and resettlement; and (v) consulting services and capacity building.
|Project Rationale and Linkage to Country/Regional Strategy
GZAR is located in the southern part of the country, boarded by Yunnan Province on the west, Guizhou on the northwest, Hunan to the northeast, and Guangdong to the southeast; the Gulf of Tonkin to the south; and Vietnam on the southwest. GZAR is one of the three least-developed areas in the PRC. Average GDP per capita is CNY 5,099, 62% of the national average. Forty-nine of the 81 counties in GZAR are classified as national or provincial poverty counties. Poverty and minority groups are concentrated in the western part of GZAR where the proposed project is located. Inadequate road transport infrastructure and the high cost of transport are two of the factors contributing to the depressed economic conditions. Current road density in the project area is 1.3 km per 1,000 population. Poverty is widespread in the PA, where all 19 counties, from Nanning to Baise City, are either nationally or locally designated poverty areas. The current Nanning-Baise G324, class II road has poor geometrical standards and traffic reached the optimum capacity. Traffic has grown at a rate of around 7% annually, the travel time is about 5 hours, and the incidence of traffic accidents is double the national average for class II road.
The Project will link the Baise to Luocunkou/Yunnan border expressway with the Nanning ring road. Thus, it will form a strategic link between Yunnan and Guizhou Provinces and the ports of Fangcheng, Qinzhou and Beihai. It will provide better access to Guangdong and Hunan with the western provinces, and will improve link with the 360 km border area with Vietnam.