A contract for the Phuoc Khanh Cable Stayed Bridge was signed on June 17, allowing work on the 3.1km bridge to start in August.

The contract was signed by the Vietnam Expressway Corporation and a consortium made up of Japanese contractor Sumitomo Mitsui and local partner Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (Cienco 4).

The Phuoc Khanh Cable Stayed Bridge will be 21.7m wide with four lanes, and allow vehicles to travel at 80kph after the first phase is complete, and 100kph once the project is finished.

The project has investment capital of 162.3 million USD and crosses over Long Tau River, connecting Ho Chi Minh City's Can Gio district with Dong Nai province's Nhon Trach district.

The bridge is part of the Ben Luc-Long Thanh Expressway project, which has a total length of 57.1km running through Long An province, HCM City and Dong Nai province.

The first phase of the project will require 31.3 trillion VND (roughly 1.6 billion USD), including 636 million USD funded by the Asia Development Bank, 635 USD from the Japanese Government via the Japanese International Cooperation Agency and 337 USD million from the Vietnamese Government.

The entire project is scheduled to be completed in 2018.

According to the Ministry of Transport, the Ben Luc-Long Thanh Expressway project would play an important role in economic and social development in the South of Vietnam.

Upon its completion, the highway will help connect the south-western region with the southeastern region without going through HCM City.

It will also connect the seaports at Cai Mep-Thi Vai and Hiep Phuoc with the planned Long Thanh International Airport, and shorten travel times from Long An to Dong Nai and Ba Ria-Vung Tau.-VNA