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Provincial Roads Improvement Sector Project

sector: Transport | country: Viet Nam, Socialist Republic of

1. The bid value of the project consultant was found to be at lower side. Road design should have been the sole responsibility of the project consultant and he should not have been subcontracted and fully passed the task on to a less experienced and capable provincial consulting firms with low subcontract value. This resulted in poor quality of surveys and detailed design works and a need to correct the design during implementation but also in substandard designs at certain locations. Inadequate payment by the project consultant to provincial consulting firm meant that the proper and necessary engineering surveys were not done at all locations.

2. The views of the provinces on requirements in the road classification and design – for instance, their preference for paved shoulders over earthen shoulders to better accommodate larger, two-way traffic – should have been adequately addressed at project conceptualization and or at project design and formulation stage.

3. The project encouraged the involvement of small contractors but they lacked resources and expertise and their participation should not have come at a cost in quality and delays. While their involvement in construction was required because they were familiar with local conditions, they needed proper technical and financial support.

4. Repackaging the road contracts to make them larger and more financially attractive to bidders was successful and made contract management easier for the provinces.

5. The executing and implementing agencies believed that implementation of the EMDP should not have been their responsibility, was outside their area of expertise, and interfered with project implementation. They said that it should have been carried out through other more suitable agencies, such provincial committees on ethnic minorities or women’s unions.

6. Frequent ADB missions throughout the implementation period, particularly visits to provinces, had a positive effect and facilitated timely decision making.

7. The traffic projections at the project preparation stage did not anticipate that heavy vehicle traffic would greatly increase on the project roads once they were improved. The result was an inadequate design, roads not built to withstand such heavy truck use, and greater than anticipated damage to some upgraded sections where this traffic has grown. This problem should be foreseen in future similar projects and tackled during design.

8. The absence of official records on land ownership made it difficult and time consuming to pay compensation to and rehabilitate people affected by the project. The PDOTs should approach the responsible local administrations well in advance of this kind of project either themselves or through specialized agencies to ensure that records are available to implement resettlement when construction begins.

9. The division of projects into many phases consumes additional time and resources and causes delays in project implementation.

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