PM urges upgrading phased expressways

Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh has urged upgrading expressways that have been put into use and are being invested according to phases in the face of certain shortcomings, including risks of accidents.

A road under construction (Illustrative photo:

He sent an official dispatch on this issue on February 21 to leaders of the Ministries of Public Security, Transport, Planning and Investment, Finance, Science and Technology, Natural Resources and Environment, and Agriculture and Rural Development; the Committee for Management of State Capital at Enterprises; and the People’s Committees of provinces and centrally-run cities.

The dispatch noted that the 13th National Party Congress identified infrastructure development as one of the three strategic breakthroughs that must be made to create new space and momentum for socio-economic development, national defense, and security safeguarding. The congress also set the target of building about 5,000km of expressways by 2030.

Over the past years, central agencies and localities have worked hard to carry out expressway projects. Nearly 1,900km of expressways have been put into use so far, and efforts are being exerted to raise the total length to more than 3,000km by 2025.

Expressway development requires a large sum of capital while existing resources remain modest. Given this, to meet the socio-economic development requirements of localities and regions, the Ministry of Transport (MoT) and some localities have proposed investing in some roads according to phases. The early inauguration of those facilities has helped boost socio-economic development.

However, there remain certain shortcomings in the operations of such expressways, including latent risks of traffic congestion and accidents as seen in the multiple collisions that left three people dead on Cam Lo - La Son Expressway on February 18, the dispatch pointed out.

Given this, the PM demanded the Minister of Transport order relevant agencies to immediately devise measures to ensure rational, scientific, and efficient traffic flow and control traffic activities in the best possible manner to guarantee safety on the expressways invested according to phases.

He told the MoT to coordinate with related localities to quickly work out upgrade plans so that those roads fully meet expressway standards. In particular, investment in the two-lane ones must be made as soon as possible.

The Government leader also requested equipping expressways with sufficient related facilities like smart transport systems and rest areas.

In addition, the MoT was asked to quickly work with the Ministry of Science and Technology to issue national technical standards for expressways in the first quarter of 2024 to serve as the basis for planning, designing, managing, building, and safely and efficiently operating those roads.

It was also asked to check and take over the expressways invested according to phases so that the facilities could be upgraded soon to fully meet expressway standards.

In the dispatch, the PM also assigned tasks to other relevant ministries, sectors, localities, and agencies.

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