The Asian Development Bank (ADB) will lend 410 million U.S. dollars to Vietnam to build projects for the second arterial highway connecting Ho Chi Minh City to the Mekong Delta and southern coastal regions, ADB said Monday. \"This transport link will help open up Vietnam\'s western provinces in the Mekong River Delta and support its economic and industrial development,\"said Rustam Ishenaliev, transport Specialist in ADB\'s Southeast Asia Department. The projects will comprise two cable-stayed bridges with a combined length of 5 km and associated access and interconnecting roads totaling 26 kms. The two bridges and the interconnecting road will cut travel time between Ho Chi Minh City and Long Xuyen, capital city of An Giang Province in the Mekong Delta region of southwestern Vietnam, from 3.5 hours to 2.5 hours. The highway is expected to be open to traffic by the end of 2017. In addition to these transport benefits, the project is expected to support more inclusive development, improve access to basic social and health services, increase national food security and facilitate private sector investment in the region. The project is expected to cost 860 million U.S. dollars, which will be provided by the ADB, Australia and South Korea.