The VND1.44 trillion (US$63.36 million) bridge, spanning the Vam Co River, now replaces a ferry service around one kilometer upstream to link Go Cong and three neighboring districts, Go Cong Dong, Go Cong Tay and Tan Phu Dong, with the rest of Tien Giang and Long An.

The 12-meter wide bridge cuts the travel distance from Go Cong to Ho Chi Minh City from 100km to 25km and the time to travel between the places, as residents previously had to use the ferry service, which often took hours to cross the Vam Co River.

Work on the 2.7-kilomter bridge linking National Highway 50, Can Duoc District (Long An) and Go Cong began six years ago, but construction was halted for some time due to funding shortages.

Building work resumed in January 2014 when the investment model of the project was turned into Build-Operate-Transfer with the participation of the private sector, Nguyen Van The, Deputy Minister of Construction said at the opening ceremony yesterday.

The project was finished after 18 months of being constructed by a local consortium of Phat Dat Real Estate Development JSC and Concrete 620 Long An Company, according to Nguyen Van Dat, board chairman of Phat Dat.

The My Loi Bridge will spur the socio-economic development of Tien Giang and Long An with the participation of many investors at home and abroad, Dat said.

The bridge’s developers will collect tolls from vehicles for 28 years, starting in November, to recoup their investment.

The 89-kilometer National Highway 50 is the key route linking Ho Chi Minh City and the eastern coastal area of the Mekong Delta, including parts of Long An and Tien Giang.

Currently, this route is being upgraded to help ease the traffic flow on National Highway 1.

Many bridges have been opened in the southern region so far this year to help reshape the regional transport route and boost socio-economic development.

In May, the Co Chien Bridge, spanning 1,600 meters over the Co Chien River, opened to traffic, shortening the travel distance between a province in the region and Ho Chi Minh City and the amount of time it takes people to shuttle between the two places.

The Co Chien Bridge links Ben Tre and Tra Vinh Provinces and helps people take shorter time to go from Tra Vinh to Ho Chi Minh City and the other way round, for they now no longer have to use ferries to cross the river.

The opening of the new bridge cuts the travel distance between Tra Vinh and the city by 60km and has put an end to the operation of the Co Chien Ferry Station, situated about 3.6km upstream.

It is one of four major bridges on National Highway 60 and a vital link between the highway and other roads of the Southern Coastal Sub-Corridor connecting Tien Giang, Ben Tre, Tra Vinh, and Soc Trang to other provinces and cities in the Mekong Delta region and Ho Chi Minh City.

Tuoi Tre News - August 30, 2015