The first section of the highway linking Hanoi and Hai Phong city, the two northern economic hubs, officially opened to traffic on June 20.

The two-way section starts at the highway’s intersection with National Road 10 and ends at another intersection with Provincial Road 353 in Hai Phong. It is 22.7 kilometres long and 33 metres wide, and has six lanes and two shoulders.

Vehicles are allowed to travel on this section, which went into temporary use on May 27, at the maximum speed of 120 kilometres per hour.

Tolls on this section have been collecting since June 1 with a maximum of 180,000 VND (8.5 USD) per vehicle, varying by vehicle type.

The Hanoi-Hai Phong highway, the construction of which commenced on May 19, 2008, begins at Belt Road 3 in the capital city, traverses Hung Yen and Hai Duong provinces, and ends at the Dinh Vu port of Hai Phong.

The 105-kilometre road cost 30 trillion VND (1.42 billion USD) under a build-operate-transfer contract, said the project’s investor – Vietnam Infrastructure Development and Finance Investment Joint Stock Company (VIDFI).

Deputy Minister of Transport Nguyen Hong Truong said the highway is an artery linking Hanoi, Hai Phong and Ha Long city and connecting the northern key economic region with the largest seaport complex in northern Vietnam in Hai Phong.

Once completed, the road and its counterparts will form a highway network, saving considerable travel time and expenses as well as reducing traffic accidents, he added.

The entire highway is expected to be put into use before December 30 this year, the VIDFI said.-VNA