A ceremony to mark the placement of the last concrete box girder connecting the two spans of the Lo River Bridge, one of the two longest bridges on the Noi Bai-Lao Cai Highway, was held in the northern province of Phu Tho on Dec 27.

When completed, the highway will reduce the travel time from Hanoi to Lao Cai province to just 4-5 hours. It now takes 10 hours to reach the northern mountainous province, which is home to the popular tourist destination of Sa Pa.

The RoK's Posco E&C Company is in charge of constructing the 833.5m bridge, which cost 1.8 trillion VND (85.7 million USD) to build.

The 264-km Hanoi-Lao Cai highway will run through five cities and provinces: Hanoi , Vinh Phuc, Phu Tho, Yen Bai and Lao Cai. Construction is funded by the Vietnam Expressway Investment and Development Company with loans from the Asian Development Bank and includes two phases with an estimated cost of nearly 20 trillion VND (1.24 billion USD) for the first phase.

The Lo River Bridge is one of eight components of the highway's first phase. The project also includes a second long bridge over the Hong (Red) River.

The highway is part of the Kunming-Hai Phong Transport Corridor, a cooperation programme between six countries in the Greater Mekong sub-region.-VNA