Overcoming difficulties to build key traffic projects
Thung Thi Tunnel, a complicated construction item on the Mai Son - National Highway 45 section of the Eastern North-South Expressway.
NDO - Due to the complicated and unpredictable developments of the COVID-19 pandemic, key traffic projects have been facing great difficulties in the mobilisation of manpower and equipment in addition to the organisation of construction at the site. Investors and contractors have implemented measures flexibly to respond to the pandemic and accelerate the affected progress while continuing to ensure the quality of the construction projects.
Ensuring the operation of construction sites
The 63km Mai Son - National Highway 45 section of the Eastern North-South Expressway (running over 14 km through Ninh Binh and nearly 49km through Thanh Hoa Province) has received total investment of about VND12.11 trillion and is currently under construction.
It is considered a “typical” project of the transport industry, with characteristics including complicated land clearance, construction on soft ground, and difficulties in arranging materials and landfills. Ninh Binh currently lacks about one million m3 of soil materials to serve the project while Thanh Hoa Province is struggling with mining to keep up with the set progress.
The expressway also includes large and complex bridges and tunnels such as Vinh An Bridge, Nui Doi Bridge, Thung Thi Tunnel, Tam Diep Tunnel, and others.
Project Management Director Luong Van Long said that the total construction costs have currently reached about VND1.55 trillion, equivalent to nearly 23% of the value under the contract, which still meets the requirements. However, the pandemic has greatly affected the mobilisation of personnel and equipment as well as the transportation and gathering of materials, thus slowing down the progress of construction, Long said.
Thang Long Project Management Board has been assigned to manage many key projects requiring steady progress, such as projects on upgrading runways and taxiways at Noi Bai Airport, the construction of Belt Road No.3's elevated Mai Dich - Nam Thang Long section, the Mai Son - National Highway 45 section of the Eastern North-South Expressway, and the Phan Thiet - Dau Giay Expressway.
The construction site of the Vinh Hao – Phan Thiet Expressway project
The weather is currently favourable for construction, but the projects have been hit by the fourth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly in localities under social distancing such as Hanoi, Dong Nai and Binh Thuan.
Director of Thang Long Project Management Board Duong Viet Roan said that due to the urgency for progress of national key projects, the Management Board under the direction of the Ministry of Transport has outlined specific plans to carry out construction amid the pandemic outbreaks to ensure the progress of projects.
All construction sites will “close the door” to minimise contact with the outside, strictly comply with 5K regulations, strengthen on-site accommodation, and divide shifts to work around the clock with appropriate number of workers.
Keeping the construction progress steady
Deputy Director of the Project 7 Management Board Hoang Tuan Khoat said that after two workers of the Vinh Hao - Phan Thiet Expressway project tested positive for COVID-19, leading to the isolation of many F1 and F2 workers, the construction was interrupted for one week.
Workers have recently returned to work on 60 construction sites to build the over 100 km long expressway. Contractors and construction units must prioritise the mobilisation of on-site human resources and strictly follow rules on COVID-19 prevention and control to keep up with construction progress and disbursement of public investment.
Director of Thang Long Project Management Board Duong Viet Roan said that he reported to the Ministry of Transport to propose localities to grant "green line" codes for vehicles transporting supplies and materials for the construction projects and remove problems related to procedures on pandemic prevention and control.
Deputy Minister of Transport Nguyen Ngoc Dong said that in the context of the complicated developments of the COVID-19 pandemic and the approach of the rainy and stormy season, the Ministry of Transport requires contractors to make detailed construction plans and focus human resources in order to take advantage of favourable weather and speed up the construction progress. They have also been asked to make use of flexible solutions to proactively operate projects amid the pandemic.
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