HCMC – The controversial Cai Lay BOT (build – operate – transfer) toll station is expected to resume toll collection in August, after five years of suspension due to drivers’ protests.
The Directorate for Roads of Vietnam (DRVN) has urged relevant agencies and the investor of the tollgate to work to resume its operation.
The tollgate is located along the National Highway No.1 section running through Cai Lay Town in the Mekong Delta province of Tien Giang.
According to DRVN, since February, it has repeatedly asked the relevant units and the investor to speed up work to resume the toll collection. The investor twice committed to completing the construction of a new toll station along a bypass near the national highway and repair damages on the bypass.
The slow progress could leave the toll collection resumption lagging behind schedule. The investor cited financial woes and unfavorable weather conditions as the main reasons for the sluggishness.
In late June, DRVN again chaired a meeting discussing a plan to resume toll collection at the station.
The investor at the meeting reported that it had completed the construction of the new toll station and repair work.
DRVN recognized the efforts of the investor, but affirmed that the investor has to take over responsibility for its failure to complete the new tollgate construction and set up a non-stop electronic toll collection system for the two tollgates ahead of July 15 as previously pledged.
A project to build the 38.5-kilometer National Highway No.1 section passing through Cai Lay Town cost over VND1.39 trillion, including enhancing a 26.4-kilometer section on the road and building the 12-kilometer bypass.
The Cai Lay BOT station was set up on the National Highway No.1 section to collect toll fees for the two routes.
After the station began toll collection on August 1, 2017, many drivers used small-denomination banknotes to pay the fees and gathered around the station to oppose the location of the station, resulting in traffic congestion and public security problems.
Four months later, the Cai Lay BOT station had to cease toll collection to wait for the Government’s solutions.
In August 2019, Tien Giang suggested building the new tollgate on the bypass. The existing tollgate on the National Highway No.1 section will collect toll to recoup investment for the road repair on the highway, while the new station will collect toll for the bypass. But the toll collection at the two stations has yet to be executed up to now.