A stretch of the Ho Chi Minh Highway, connecting Kon Tum City and Pleiku City in the Central Highlands. A dozen national highways in the region are set to be upgraded by 2020 under the Ministry of Transport's plan. — VNA/VNS Photo Huy Hung

HA NOI (VNS) — Nearly VND65 trillion (US$3 billion) would be poured into a dozen road investment projects across the Central Highlands by 2020 to promote socio-economic development in the region, the Steering Committee for the Central Highlands has announced.

The five-year plan, under the Ministry of Transport, aims to upgrade and widen a total of 1,380km of the national highway network stretching through the region.

Funding is expected to come from various sources, including Government bonds and the State budget, as well as from investors under the BT (Build-Transfer) or the BOT (Build-Operate-Transfer) models.

According to the plan, National Highways 14, 19, 27, 25, 24, 26, 28, 29, 55, 28B, 40, 40B and the Dau Giay-Lien Khuong Expressway will be given priority in that order, depending on their traffic density.

The Ministry of Transport will also map out and build new routes connecting National Highway 14C to the Ho Chi Minh Highway, National Highway 1A and the Truong Son Dong route, a key traffic channel in the Central Highlands, in order to increase the effectiveness of the regional road network.

This plan is the latest effort by the Government to attract infrastructure investment in the Central Highlands. Upgrade work on a 553km stretch of the Ho Chi Minh Highway crossing the region is expected to be completed next month.

The ministry was also attempting to push investment in rail routes that link the region to big ports located along the coastline from the northern central region down to the south.

Upgrade work at Lien Khuong, Buon Ma Thuot and Pleiku airports would be undertaken to meet the influx of investors and tourists visiting the region, said the ministry.

The latest five-year plan is a follow-up to major regional road upgrades that took place from 2012 to 2015 with an estimated cost of more than VND33 trillion ($1.5 billion) on six national highways and 216km of road.

Officials said the Central Highlands transport network had promoted trade between provinces within the region and beyond, while ensuring national security and improving the lives of local ethnic minority people. — VNS


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