Construction on the Hai Phong-Ha Long Expressway that runs 25 kilometers (15.5 miles) from the port city to the famous bay. Photo by VnExpress/Minh Cuong
The chairman of Quang Ninh Province, where Ha Long is situated, has called on the builder to finish all remaining works before August 31 so that the expressway could open to traffic on September 2, Vietnam's Independence Day, authorities said on August 14.
As some of the supporting facilities are still being built, Quang Ninh authorities have proposed limiting the maximum speed on the highway to 80 kilometers per hour.
Once the project acceptance is complete, the speed limit would go up to the designed 100 kph.
Workers can still be seen installing traffic signs, barriers and lane dividers and painting road markings.
Built at a cost of VND13 trillion (US$556 million), the 24.6-kilometer Ha Long-Hai Phong Expressway connects National Highway 18 in Ha Long's Dai Yen Ward with the Hanoi-Hai Phong Expressway in Hai Phong's Hai An District.
Also built are a VND7.27-trillion bridge across the Bach Dang River between Quang Ninh and Hai Phong. The 5.4-km bridge, with a 3.5-km span above the river, has a width of 25 meters (82 feet) and four lanes.
Once opened, the expressway will reduce the Ha Long-Hanoi commute by 50 km to 130 km, and the Ha Long-Hai Phong route from 75 km to just 25 km.
Work on it began in September 2015 and was scheduled for completion last March, but was delayed twice.
The expressway is among a series of infrastructure projects aimed at boosting the tourism industry.
Others include an international airport in Quang Ninh's Van Don District and a new expressway between Ha Long and the proposed special economic zone in Van Don, both of which are scheduled for completion later this year.
In the first half of this year Ha Long held many events including the launch of the National Tourism Year - Ha Long - Quang Ninh and the 2018 Carnival Ha Long, both of which attracted tens of thousands of visitors.
The bay helped Quang Ninh welcome 6.6 million visitors this year as of May, including 2.17 million foreigners, according to official figures.
Tourism revenues for the period rose 32% year-on-year to VND11 trillion (US$472 million).