An eastern north-south freeway that travels a distance of more than 1,811 kilometres from Hanoi to the Mekong Delta capital of Can Tho received approval from Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung last week.

According to the detailed planning, the freeway is divided into 16 sessions ranging from four to eight lanes, with a total investment of more than 300 trillion VND (16 billion USD).

The freeway will cover an area of over 1.2 million ha and be managed by three regional control centres which will be built in the north, centre and south of the country in coordination with control centres of each section.

Three sections are under construction, including Cau Gie – Ninh Binh in the north, Ben Luc – Trung Luong and Dau Giay – Long Thanh in the south, which are 50.37 and 43 km-long, respectively, with a total investment of around 41 trillion VND (2.2 billion USD).

Eleven sections will be built between 2011 and 2020 to complete 1,469 km of the road. The remaining 342 km will be built after 2020, together with the expansion of the Dau Giay – Long Thanh and Ben Luc – Trung Luong sections.

Some sections will cost much more than others, including the three sections from Quang Ngai to Binh Dinh, Nha Trang and Phan Thiet in the centre, with a total investment of 101 trillion VND (5.5 billion USD).

The State budget will cover costs, while private investors are also invited to join according to BOT (Building – Operation – Transfer), BT (Building-Transfer) or PPP (Public – Private Partnership) models, among others.

Once completed, the freeway will connect key economic centres and important traffic hubs with easy connections to railway, seaports and airports, easing traffic pressure on the existing National Highway 1./.