The experience to develop vital expressway projects

October 09, 2023 | 09:46
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To achieve the goal of having about 3,000km of expressways in the country by 2025, the National Assembly and the government have approved many projects, prioritising the use of public investment capital from the Programme on Socioeconomic Recovery and Development, while assigning the Ministry of Transport (MoT) and localities to be the investors of a number of projects with massive capital scale.

There are very high requirements for the MoT and localities, with some being assigned as the managing agency of expressway ventures for the first time to carry out procedures according to regulations, and to organise project management and construction to ensure schedules are met.

The experience to develop vital expressway projects
By Le Dinh Tho - Deputy Minister of Transport

Expressways are the highest level of technical project in the road system, with modern scale, large transport capacity, high speed, and safety are to contend with. However, not all localities have experience in implementing large initiatives, so sharing experience from units of the ministry with localities is necessary with the goal of ensuring progress, quality, and efficiency.

From the actual implementation of such projects – as well as recommendations from the state’s audit department, the Government Inspectorate, the Ministry of Public Security, and specialised inspection teams – the MoT has compiled a handbook on implementing these projects with the goal of doing so on schedule and complying with legal regulations.

The MoT is willing to share this handbook with localities so that governing agencies and investors of local expressways can have more experience in implementing them.

Regarding site clearance and materials for development, there are many difficulties because road ventures, especially expressways, have giant clearance areas.

To be more proactive in site clearance, the experience that the ministry has learnt from is in the pre-project step and with pre-feasibility. Route map documents should be immediately prepared, and investors and consultants must review site clearance documents at least two months in advance. If there are no problems, it should temporarily approve the site to immediately deploy demarcation of the site.

Doing this helps to avoid errors during the site clearance process as well as the technical design step. This is the experience that Hanoi has applied when approving similar projects.

Regarding material sources such as backfill soil, there are still many issues during the implementation of transport initiatives. Therefore, it is necessary to continue research to reduce licensing procedures, while ensuring resource exploitation and management in accordance with laws. In addition, the process of surveying and evaluating mines also needs to be carried out more efficiently in terms of quality, reserves, and prices.

Through implementation of such projects, the MoT realised that it is necessary to regularly organise conferences to share and exchange practical experience in directing, preparing, and building them, as well as preparing investment and construction management. This helps to learn lessons and work out solutions to implement projects to ensure quality, progress, aesthetics, the environment, and security.

Lessons include the involvement of the entire political system, promoting assignment and decentralisation to localities, assigning specific and detailed tasks to each unit to build feasible plans, and attaching responsibilities to review progress to the correct subjects. In addition, we must uphold the spirit of great political determination to find solutions – even though works are complicated, we must not be discouraged and find every solution to overcome it.

Along with that is the synchronous leadership and direction from the central to local levels to promptly resolve bottlenecks. There are also amendments to mechanisms to create a new, open, and favourable legal corridor when implementing projects; as well as innovation in direction and management, building plans, and clearly assigning responsibilities associated with regular inspection and supervision.

Close attention should also be paid to choosing capable contractors with enough human resources, vehicles, and construction machinery to promptly meet the schedule. Experience from the North-South Expressway’s first phase shows that if the correct capable contractors are chosen, the management, progress, and quality of projects will be assured.

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