Vietnam mulls $2.2bn motorway from Central Highlands to the coast

The road would link the port city of Quy Nhon to Pleiku, pictured, the main urban centre in Vietnam’s Central Highlands (Cubuiminhquang/CC BY-SA 4.0)
Vietnam is planning to build a $2.2bn motorway connecting Pleiku in the Central Highlands province of Gia Lai to the port city of Quy Nhon.

The project was suggested by Hanoi at the beginning of last year. It asked the people’s committee of Gia Lai to work with the Ministry of Transport on plans to build the road using a public-private partnership (PPP).

Currently, Binh Dinh and Gia Lai are connected by the 243km-long Highway 19, which has become notorious for its potholes.

The provincial governments later wrote to Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh to suggest that the 143km highway would have four lanes in total, and would be built between 2025 and 2030 using mainly state funding.

The Saigon Times notes that a PPP venture would only recover its investment within 25 years if the state paid between 76% and 88% of the cost.

The people’s committees added that the motorway would boost economic growth in the region.

The route would connect to some north-south motorways, and the Vietnam-Laos-Cambodia development triangle.

If the proposal is approved, it will be the fifth road project linking the Central Highlands to the coast to have been started since 2021.

The other four will connect the provinces of Khanh Hoa and Buon Ma Thuot, Tan Phu and Bao Loc, Bao Loc and Lien Khuong, and Gia Nghi and Chon Thanh.

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