The most important segment of the Mekong Delta highway system, the My Thuan – Can Tho highway, will kick off by the end of the year.

The highway in the delta will link the region with Ho Chi Minh City and the southern key economic region.

"The pre-feasibility report for the 24-km My Thuan – Can Tho highway will be submitted to the Ministry of Transport and the Prime Minister this month," Duong Tuan Minh, general director of the Cuu Long Corporation for Investment, Development and Project Management of Infrastructure (CIDP) was quoted as saying in Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper.

Though the Ministry of Transport approved the project years ago, it did not start because of a lack of capital and poor financial planning.

"An effective financing plan is the most important factor in attracting investors," Minh added.

The project has been adjusted from four lanes and 27.5 metres wide at a cost of 12 trillion VND (564 million USD) to two lanes and 13.75 metres wide at 6 trillion VND (282 million USD).

The Cuu Long CIDP has also suggested that the Government spend State funds for ground clearance compensation for the next construction phase, which includes four lanes and expenditures to support investors.

The project is planned to be built in the fourth quarter this year and will be completed by 2018.

The Ministry of Transport's No 7 Project Management Unit is also setting up a construction project for My Thuan No 2 bridge, which will allow travel on the Trung Luong - My Thuan highway.

The management unit plans to open the bridge in 2018, along with the Trung Luong – My Thuan highway.

"It means that by 2018, along with the 51.5-km Trung Luong – My Thuan highway, which was built in this February, My Thuan – Can Tho highway will help cut travel time from HCM City to Can Tho to 1 hour and 45 minutes instead of the current four hours," Minh said.

In addition, in the fourth quarter, the 55-km Lo Te – Rach Soi (from Can Tho to Kien Giang) will start construction.

"The Republic of Korea Government has agreed to sponsor 200 million USD for the project. Another 94 million USD will be provided by the Vietnamese Government," Minh said.

In the first stage, two lanes will be built but later it will be expanded to a highway.

By 2017, the road will connect with Vam Cong bridge, which links Dong Thap and Can Tho provinces, and Cao Lanh bridge.

When completed, these projects will create the second key road system along with the current National Road No 1.-VNA