Nearly 90 kilometers of National Highway 217 (the first phase) connecting Dong Tam intersection in central Thanh Hoa province with the Na Meo-Nam Xoi border gate at the Vietnam-Laos border line is scheduled to be opened to traffic on January 30.

According to the Ministry of Transport, National Highway 217 is of special significance in the Greater Mekong Sub-region (GMS) Economic Cooperation Program as the road, together with routes 6, 6A and 6B of Laos ’ Houaphan province, links Northeastern Laos with Northern Vietnam, heading towards Thanh Hoa province’s Nghi Son sea port.

A section of National Highway 217. Photo:

Therefore, the ministry said, the upgrading of the routes has won the strong support of the Vietnamese and Laos Governments in order to maximize economic potential brought about by the GMS Northeastern Corridor and will help northern Lao provinces easily access the Nghi Son port.

The first phase of the project began in June 2013 with a total investment of USD 97.4 million with USD 75 million coming from the Asian Development Bank’s preferential loans and the remainder sourced from the Vietnamese Government.

The 195.4 km National Highway starts from Do Len bridge in Thanh Hoa province’s Ha Trung district through Vinh Loc, Cam Thuy, Ba Thuoc and Quan Son districts, and ends at the Na Meo international border gate.

Technical design and land clearance work in preparation for the second phase of the project is underway.

Source: VNA