New Lao-Thai bridge construction expected to begin in 2019

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The construction of 5th Lao-Thai Mekong Friendship Bridge, which will connect Laos’ Borikhamxay Province to Thailand’s Bueng Kan Province, is expected to begin in 2019, Lao News Agency reported.

The survey and design of the bridge is now over 90% complete and the location for its construction has been determined, Head of the Road Management Division of the Public Works and Transport Department, Vixay Phoumy, said on Tuesday.

The final design of the bridge has already been submitted to the governments of Laos and Thailand.

“Currently, we are only waiting for the construction budget to be approved and the construction companies to make their final bids for the construction. The construction work is expected to be launched in 2019 with an estimated cost of over 3 billion Thai baht (almost US$85 million),” Mr Vixay said.

He said the bridge will be approximately 1,350m long and 17m wide crossing the Mekong River, adding that the Lao and Thai governments will share the cost of the bridge 50-50.

Once completed, the 5th Lao-Thai Mekong Friendship Bridge will improve the transport of goods between two countries and also link to northern, central and southern parts of the countries as well as attract overseas investment.

This bridge will link Road No 13 North and No 13 South in the central part of Laos to northeastern Thailand.