Authorities in Quang Ninh Province have decided to make a tunnel through a mountain on Ha Long-Cam Pha coastal road.
The construction of a coastal road connecting its Ha Long and Cam Pha cities was started on August 22. The project will cost VND1.36trn (USD58.6m). Construction will be carried out between 2019 and 2020 as part of the provincial transport development plan through 2020 with a vision to 2030.
With the tunnel, the total construction cost will increase by VND272bn. The tunnel will be 235 metres long.
Cao Tuong Huy, vice chairman of Quang Ninh People's Committee, said damaging the mountain to make road will save money but there would be many shortcomings such as dangerous slopes, turnings and landslide risks. Limestone mountains in Ha Long and Bai Tu Long bays will be damaged.
"We then asked the management board of transport construction projects in Quang Ninh to research a tunnel instead," Huy said.
Nguyen Van Tung, director of the management board of transport construction projects in Quang Ninh, said the consultants had proposed to build a tunnel previously but was rejected because the tunnel would have been 800 metres long and would need VND800bn of investment. The tunnel proposal was reconsidered after it was pointed out that damaging the mountains to build roads had various shortcomings.
The Ha Long-Cam Pha coastal road has a total length of 18.7km, including10.2km passing through Cam Pha city. It is expected to help ease traffic density on the National Highway 18 and better connect Ha Long and Cam Pha cities.
Many famous destinations, such as Thung Nai in Hoa Binh province, Trang An scenic landscape complex in Ninh Binh and Ta Dung Lake in Dak Nong province, are known as ‘Ha Long Bay on land’.
Ha Long City residents are concerned as rapid urbanization in recent years has affected mangrove forests in the city.