New motorways already show their cracks
  • | Tuoi tre, | May 04, 2012 09:53 AM

Potholes, cracks and other damage have already been recorded at several newly built motorways.

A crack on Thang Long Avenue 

Major projects including the HCM City-Trung Luong, Thang Long Avenue, Cau Gie-Ninh Binh and Hanoi-Haiphong motorways are all suffering from defects.

Substandard quality despite huge investment

Even though the HCM City-Trung Luong project cost VND9.884 trillion (USD473.37 million), several sinkholes have already appeared despite it only recently going into use. Thousands of incidents, especially traffic accidents, have been recorded on the road, posing threats to passers-by.

The situation reached its peak when in October last year the Long An provincial Traffic Safety Committee carried out an inspection on the road section running through the locality. They found as many as 500 potholes on the section running through the province, regardless of other holes marring the 22-kilometre slip roads in HCM City and Tien Giang Province.

According to the My Thuan project’s management board, in February 2010, four months after the road was put into operation, serious subsidence was recorded in at least five points on the road.

By December 2010, in a report sent to the prime minister, the Ministry of Transport (MoT) attributed the situation to complicated and unexpected geological conditions which had resulted in subsidence after road had finished construction. They did not detect any problems during the technical design stage.

The ministry requested that the project’s investor intensify oversight and take measures to deal with the problems to ensure safety for traffic users. However, more holes were continuously recorded on the road between 2010 and 2011.

In response to public concerns, the ministry once again in late 2011 required the investor to complete all repairs on the road prior to official toll collection beginning in late February 2012.

However, the situation had yet to be completely dealt with by the end of April 2012. Several holes with a depth of around two centimetres can still be seen on the road.

According to the Expressway Management Centre, repairs on the 40-kilometre main road will be completed by May 15, 2012.

Subsidence and cracks were also recorded on Thang Long Avenue just a few months after it was put in use.

With a  total investment of VND7.527 trillion (USD360.48 million), the Thang Long Avenue was put into operation on the occasion of the 1,000th anniversary of Hanoi in October 2010. However, six months after opening, cracks and subsidence appeared at several points on the road.

Initially, the project’s investor and contractors blamed the situation on bad foundations. Despite their efforts, a lack of finance has stalled repair work. New cracks have been found at the road’s tunnel and the case is still under inspection.

Meanwhile, substandard construction has been blamed for the problems plaguing the 56-kilometre Cau Gie-Ninh Binh motorway which was one of four projects subjected to a MoT's inspection even though just 20 kilometres of the road had been built.

Contractors have completed repairs to deal with subsidence on the VND8.974 trillion (USD429.78 million) road while oversight will be intensified over remaining works.

Damage found in BOT road projects

Substandard construction has not only been found in the MoT's projects. BOT (Build-Operate-Transfer) projects have also revealed shortcomings. The Hanoi-Haiphong motorway project invested in by Vietnam Infrastructure Development and Financial Investment Corporation (VIDIFI) is a typical example.

Construction on the road started in May 2008 with a 2011 completion deadline. However, implementation of the project has been carried out at a snail’s pace as all nine bidding packages have only completed 45% of their workload.

The 105.5-kilometre road had an initial investment of VND24.566 trillion (USD1.17 billion) but the project’s investor is seeking approval from local authorities to increase investment by 40%.

The National Construction Work Check and Take-over Council has requested that VIDIFI take measures to deal with some problems that indicate their substandard construction of the road after carrying out an inspection in March 2012.

A bypass section of National Highway 1 in Ha Tinh City has also aged immediately following being put in use. The 16.3-kilometre road was built by Song Da Group under the BOT form.

Construction on the road started in November 2005 and was expected to be completed in May 2008. Due to stagnant construction, the road was completed in early 2009 and was seriously aging after operation.

The project costs nearly VND460 billion (USD22.03 million) but work worth VND160 billion (USD7.66 million) had not been completed when the road was put into use.

To improve the situation, the MoT requested the investor to complete repairs before the second quarter of 2012 and finish construction on remaining works prior to the third quarter of the year.

Leave your comment on this story