The Saigon Times Weekly
It should have been done earlier
Barely a day after the opening of the Phan Thiet-Dau Giay Expressway on April 29, the Binh Thuan provincial police wrote to the People’s Committee requesting measures to ease traffic congestion at the entrance and exit of the road.
The proposed urgent measures comprise setting up speed limit signs, traffic lights, lighting systems, traffic signs at the expressway intersection with National Highway 1A and speed reduction bumps.
After that, the Binh Thuan Traffic Safety Committee sent a document to the Thang Long Project Management Board, reminding them to install signs indicating directions to Phan Thiet and HCMC on the road leading to National Highway 1A and to set up the traffic sign system as recommended by the Road Management Zone IV.
While these measures seem urgently needed, they are merely mandatory requirements for transportation infrastructure systems. Relevant agencies and units have yet to learn lessons from many other expressways in the southern region. When the Trung Luong-My Thuan Expressway was temporarily opened to traffic in early 2022, the intersections with National Highways 30 and 1A experienced severe traffic congestion. The HCMC-Trung Luong Expressway also saw traffic jams stretching for tens of kilometers in 2010 as the infrastructure system was not yet completed. It caused passengers to rely on temporary roads for several years.
Similar issues arose on the Phan Thiet-Dau Giay Expressway recently. Although the expressway was put into operation, it still lacked almost all the necessary items, from traffic lights and lighting systems, to speed bumps and road signs.
Moreover, the lack of overpasses at the intersections, particularly with National Highway 1A, has resulted in traffic congestion at the entrances and exits of the expressway. In addition, the roads leading from the expressway to the intersections were not wide enough, worsening the traffic bottleneck, especially during peak hours.
It is necessary to call for the participation of relevant agencies such as traffic police, road safety and management authorities in the initial construction phase. With their suggestions and supervision, the transportation infrastructure projects can be properly completed. Local authorities can also avoid repeating the same mistakes as seen on the Phan Thiet-Dau Giay Expressway.