The investment project will improve connectivity in the Mekong Delta Region in Viet Nam and provide efficient access from Ho Chi Minh City to the Southern Coastal Region through construction of two cable stayed bridges across the Mekong River and associated roads:
(i) Component 1: Cao Lanh Bridge (2.0 km) and approach roads (5.4 km);
(ii) Component 2: Interconnecting Road (15.7 km);
(iii) Component 3: Vam Cong Bridge (2.97 km) and approach roads (4.08 km);
The investment project is located on the boundaries of Dong Thap province and Can Tho city. The two cable stayed bridges will be constructed to four-lane carriageway and two-lane motorcycle lane standard with total bridge width of 27.5 meters and the interconnecting road will be constructed initially to four-lane standard with a formation width of 20.6 meters in the Southern section and 23.0 meters in the Northern section; to be widened to six-lane standard in future.
Associated with the investment project, ADB approved a technical assistance (TA 7822, the TA project) fully financed by the Government of Australia. This TA project was approved to meet two fundamental project needs: (i) preparing detailed designs and bidding documents for the portion of the investment project that ADB and the Government of Australia are considering financing, and (ii) ensuring the early availability of social and environmental planning documents for the investment project. The objectives of the TA project were to: (i) reduce project start-up delays and speed up implementation of the investment project; (ii) respond to the government's target for construction and commissioning of the investment project during 2013-2017; (iii) reduce the government's loan servicing cost on the ADB loan for the investment project; and (iv) include construction supervision services and capacity building support, which are critical for the successful implementation of the investment project. Detailed designs, bidding documents, and safeguards planning documents were completed and advance action approved as part of the TA project. Procurement and safeguards implementation are well advanced. The project, thus, is expected to be completed within the Loan Closing date.
|Project Rationale and Linkage to Country/Regional Strategy
The Mekong Delta is one of the four key economic centers in Viet Nam and its economy relies mainly on agro-industry and other light industries. It is also known as the rice basket of Viet Nam and contributes significantly to Viet Nam's record rice exports, making the country among the world's top three rice exporters. However, poor infrastructure and natural calamities limit growth, and poverty in the more remote areas of the Mekong Delta remains high.
The government has launched an expressway development plan that identifies the Second Southern Highway (SSH) as a key artery for development of the Mekong Delta. The SSH connects HCMC through the Mekong Delta to the southern coastal region and serves as an alternative to National Highway 1A. It also provides access to the Mekong Delta's southwestern provinces, and connects to the Greater Mekong Subregion Southern Coastal Corridor at Rach Gia, which connects to the Cambodian and Thai highway networks. The SSH is currently constrained by ferry crossings at Cao Lanh and Vam Cong, which are slow and cause delays to traffic.
The government plans to remove the bottlenecks caused by slow ferry operations and, more generally, improve connectivity in the Mekong Delta by constructing a section of the SSH between Cao Lanh (on the northern bank of the Tien branch of the Mekong River) and Long Xuyen (on the southern bank of the Hau branch). This section will consist of: (i) component 1: Cao Lanh Bridge (2.0 km) and approach roads (5.4 km); (ii) component 2: interconnecting road (15.7km); (iii) component 3: Vam Cong Bridge (2.97 km), and approach roads (4.08 km); (iv) component 4: Long Xuyen Bypass (17.5 km); (v) component 5: Long Xuyen Bypass extension (5.7 km); and (vi) component 6: My An-Cao Lanh connecting road (26.9 km).
The investment project will comprise components 1-3. The government intends to construct components 4-6 as part of a future project. The governments of Australia and of the Republic of Korea have agreed to cofinance the investment project.
The investment project is expected to bring inclusive development to areas that are poorly connected to major population centers, improve access to basic social and health services, increase national food security by stimulating local agro-industry and boosting exports, facilitate private sector investment, and extend regional connectivity to neighboring Cambodia and the Greater Mekong Subregion, as well as to Viet Nam's major inland ports in the Mekong Delta. An estimated 170,000 road users will benefit daily from the investment project and the 5 million residents of An Giang, Can Tho, and Dong Thap provinces will benefit from an improvement in living standards.