Vietnam has broken ground on the $179m expansion of National Road 51 connecting Dong Nai and Ba Ria-Vung Tau provinces with Cai Mep-Thi Vai and Ben Dinh-Sao Mai port complexes.

The expansion is expected to ease the flow of goods in the southern region by directing freight flow into Cai Mep-Thi Vai port complex.

The 72.7km-long road will be widened to a 39m six-lane road. The expansion of 16 bridges and the construction of 13 new bridges and 12 crossovers at crowded residential areas will also be included in the project.

Bien Hoa-Vung Tau Expressway Corporation (BVEC), a joint venture between Vietnam Urban and Housing Development Joint Stock Corporation, Song Da Corporation and BIDV is carrying out the expansion.

Work is expected to complete by 2012.