A groundbreaking ceremony for the construction of the My Thuan-Can Tho Expressway, an important project in the Mekong Delta region’s transport system, was held in Vinh Long province on January 4.

The My Thuan-Can Tho Expressway is part of the eastern section of the North-South Expressway project. It has a total investment of 4.86 trillion dong ($210 million) and is expected to be completed next year.

The 23km expressway will pass through Vinh Long and Dong Thap provinces. It starts from the My Thuan Bridge 2 in Vinh Long city’s Tan Hoa ward and ends at Cha Va intersection, connecting to National Highway No 1 in Binh Minh town’s Thuan An commune.

Speaking at the ceremony, Deputy Minister of Transport Nguyen Nhat said the project will help reduce overloads on National Highway No 1 and push up economic development while securing national defence and security for the Mekong Delta province, gradually accomplishing the expressway system.

The completion of the project together with Ho Chi Minh City-Trung Luong, Trung Luong-My Thuan Expressways and My Thuan 2 Bridge will create a key transport line from Ho Chi Minh City to Can Tho city. It will shorten travel time between the two cities to two hours instead of three to four hours as at present.

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc emphasised that the project plays a vital role in the development of the Mekong Delta, saying the government has approved to shift from build-operate-transfer mode to using public investment given the country’s economy still faces a lot of difficulties.

This is aimed at reducing cost for transport goods in the Mekong Delta, helping the realisation of the Government’s Resolution No 120/NQ-CP on sustainable and climate-resilient development of the Mekong Delta.

The prime minister asked the Ministry of Transport, investors and units involved in the implementation to ensure the progress of the project as well as the quality.

He welcomed the commitment from Vinh Long and Dong Thap provinces to complete the site clearance to hand over land to investors.

Phuc also asked the two provinces to quickly build resettlement areas to quickly stabilise the lives of local people who have given up their land to make way for the project.