Improving Infrastructure to Propel Socio-economic Development

9:58:32 AM | 5/11/2020

Hai Phong is a city of construction works and bridges. This is the remark and praise of Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc to the Party, government and people of Hai Phong City who have been making great efforts to build many projects, particularly traffic projects from 2016 to date, to improve connectivity and spread the city’s successes in line with socioeconomic development goals to 2030 and further to 2045 as stated in the Politburo’s Resolution 45-NQ/TW.

Hai Phong - home to construction works

Mr. Nguyen Duc Tho, Director of Hai Phong Department of Transport, said, Hai Phong City had only 38 bridges with a total length of only 10 km before 2015; however, since 2016, it has brought into use 34 new bridges with a total length of over 17 km and planned to have 12 more.

To attract investment funds for traffic projects, the department has actively advised the Hai Phong Municipal People's Committee. Especially, following the issuance of Resolution 45-NQ/TW of the Politburo, it has consulted the People's Committee on the “traffic infrastructure development and traffic congestion prevention scheme to 2030 and beyond” scheme, which features the overall picture of transport infrastructure development with a focus on regional connectivity and urban upgrading by building new roads and overpasses. Typical projects include Hanoi-Hai Phong Expressway, Tan Vu-Lach Huyen Expressway (with Lach Huyen Bridge), a road linking Ha Long City with the Hanoi-Hai Phong Expressway, National Highway 10, Quan Toan-Cau Nghin Road, and National Highway 5.

Besides, for waterways, the department has actively coordinated with central agencies, especially the Ministry of Transport, to propose improving inland waterways to upgrade waterborne transport capacity. At present, modes of cargo transport at Hai Phong Port are restructured, mainly by road (accounting for over 80%), by waterway (15-16%) and by rail (1%).

Hoang Van Thu Bridge, in the shape of Seabird Wing, is designed by Vietnam, invested, managed and built by Hai Phong. It was completed and put into use in just 24 months. The success is attributed to the resolution of the investor and construction contractors.

In fact, if transportation volume picks up, pressures on the road traffic will strengthen. For the time being, the railway is still not able to transport much but it is also necessary to lay the foundation for planning railway construction to connect ports, especially Lach Huyen Port.

Cat Bi Airport has been upgraded into an international airport. Accordingly, many airlines have opened flights to the airport. Currently, nine flight routes from Hai Phong to other localities operate more than 60 flights a day. Moreover, Aviation Corporation of Vietnam is expanding Cat Bi International Airport with four projects expected to be completed by the beginning of 2021 to increase the capacity to 4-8 million passengers a year and 13 million passengers a year in the following years. After 2045, a new airport will be built.

For Lach Huyen international seaport system, Berth 1 and Berth 2 are operating very well. As a deep-water seaport (at a depth of 14 meters), it can serve vessels of 160,000 metric tons, with a direct route to the West Coast of the United States. This will be a huge competitive advantage for shipping companies and ship owners. In addition, Hai Phong Port Joint Stock Company is carrying out investment procedures for construction of Berth 3 and Berth 4, which is expected to start construction in the first quarter of 2021 and to be completed and operated by 2023. The Department of Transport will continue to coordinate with the Ministry of Transport to attract potential investors to the next berths.

Director Nguyen Duc Tho affirmed that Hai Phong is strictly executing public investment projects as per Decree 59/2015/ND-CP of the Government. It has split management boards to improve management capacity and use public investment funds in the most effective way. The department has two investment divisions (set up from the merger of some boards): Hai Phong Traffic Construction Investment Management Board and Hai Phong Urban Development and Civil Construction Investment Management Board.

Hai Phong - home to bridges

Mr. Do Tuan Anh, Director of the Hai Phong Traffic Construction Investment Management Board, said, right after being assigned tasks, since early May 2019, the board has quickly strengthened its operational structure, reviewed and sped up the construction progress of existing projects and attracted new qualified and enthusiastic contractors to effectively execute local traffic projects.

Despite the complicated COVID-19 pandemic, with close direction of the city leadership, the high determination of localities and specially the resolve of construction contractors, they have managed to prevent the COVID-19 pandemic and ensure construction progress.

Therefore, many projects were inaugurated to celebrate the 65th anniversary of Hai Phong liberation (May 13, 1955-2020). Typical projects include Hoang Van Thu Bridge, the 3-level intersection in the south of Binh Bridge, flyovers on National Highway 5, urban roads (funded by the World Bank), a road linking Lang Am Bridge to Nhan Muc Bridge in Vinh Bao district, a road linking National Highway 5 and urban areas in Hai An district, Road 359 (from Regiment 238 to Nui Deo intersection), and a coastal road.

Additionally, the city has focused on building and developing connections with neighboring provinces such as Hai Duong, Thai Binh and Quang Ninh by building Song Hoa Bridge connecting Hai Phong City with Thai Binh province, Dinh Bridge and Quang Thanh Bridge connecting Hai Phong with Hai Duong and blueprint Lai Xuan Bridge and Rung Bridge connecting Hai Phong with Quang Ninh province.

At the same time, the city is coordinating and directing investors to speed up necessary preparations to soon launch their projects to welcome the 16th City Party Congress like upgrading National Highway 10 from Da Bac Bridge to Kien Bridge; upgrading Provincial Road 359 (second-phase); building Rao 1 Bridge, Passenger Terminal 2 - Cat Bi International Airport, Berth 3 and 4 in Lach Huyen International Gateway Port invested by Hai Phong Port Joint Stock Company.

Tan Vu - Lach Huyen Overpass (5.44 km long, 29.5m wide, four lanes, and speed limit of 80 kmph) is the longest sea-crossing bridge in Vietnam and one of the longest in Southeast Asia.

Addressing the 16th Hai Phong Party Congress (2020-2025 term), Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc affirmed that Hai Phong has focused total investment resources for transport infrastructure development from 2016 to date, with a record value of nearly VND44 trillion. The city has carried out a series of strategic projects such as 46 bridges with a total length of nearly 20 km. The central government has invested to build traffic works to connect localities in the region like Hanoi-Hai Phong-Quang Ninh Highway and Tan Vu Bridge-Lach Huyen; Hai Phong City has actively invested in local projects like Song Hoa Bridge, Dinh Bridge, Quang Thanh Bridge and Hoang Van Thu Bridge.

Moreover, all constructions have met technical and progress requirements of investors. Many are even completed ahead of time to facilitate socioeconomic development of Hai Phong in particular and the region in general. The success of Hai Phong City is attributed to many contractors, notably HJC Group and Thang Long Mechanical Construction Joint Stock Corporation.

The effect of centrally and locally invested projects on regional and national economic development is positive and stimulating domestic and foreign investors and companies.

By Ha Thanh, Vietnam Bushiness Forum