Big celebrations at Hai Van completion1 December 2003
Japanese, South Korean and Vietnamese contractors have holed through on south-east Asia's longest tunnel, the US$251M Hai Van road tunnel in central Vietnam.
The event was marked at a ceremony attended by over 300 officials, at the beginning of November.
Work on the project, which also includes 5.8km of approach roads, started in August 2000. The contractors, working from the northern and southern portals, advanced an average of 5.3m a day using drill and blast techniques.
The scheme includes a 6.29km parallel evacuation tunnel, which will be altered later to provide a second main highway making the tunnel a dual two-lane expressway.
When open to traffic in early 2005, the tunnel will have 17 emergency lay-bys and 15 cross-passages – 11 for pedestrians and four for vehicles.
The link will cut the travelling time through the Hai Van pass to Da Nang from 40 minutes to just 10 minutes.
A group of consultants led by Japan's Nippon Koei and including US firm Louis Berger International and Transport Engineering Design Incorporated of Vietnam, is doing the detailed design and construction supervision of the tunnel.