A segment of the Noi Bai-Lao Cai highway, from Hanoi to the northern province of Vinh Phuc, opened to traffic on December 27.

The 26 kilometre long section, with six lanes, was constructed by Posco Engineering and Construction (POSCO E&C) of the Republic of Korea, with a total investment of over 2.5 trillion VND (over 120 million USD).

It is expected to contribute to reducing traffic on Highway No. 2 and facilitating goods and passenger transportation from Hanoi to Binh Xuyen and Ba Thien industrial parks and spiritual tourism sites in Vinh Phuc province, halving the distance and time to reach these destinations.

Addressing the event, Deputy Prime Minister Hoang Trung Hai underlined the important role played by the highway in promoting socio-economic development exchange among localities where it runs through as well as between countries in the Mekong Sub-region.

He asked the Ministry of Transport to work with the People’s Committees of relevant localities to address the difficulties encountered during the construction of the project so that the highway will become fully operational in 2014.

The construction of the Noi Bai-Lao Cai highway started in 2009 with a total investment of over 1.2 billion USD. It has a total length of 245 kilometres and links Hanoi and the northern border province of Lao Cai.

As an important project of the Kunming-Lao Cai-Hanoi-Hai Phong road corridor, the Noi Bai-Lao Cai highway is part of a cooperation programme among six countries in the Mekong Sub-region, including Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, Myanmar and China.

According to Mai Tuan Anh, General Director of the Vietnam Expressway Investment Corporation (VEC) which is an investor in the project, his company is accelerating the construction of the remaining sections to complete the project in its entirety by the end of June in 2014.-VNA