Laos-Myanmar Mekong bridge to be completed next month

The construction of the Laos-Myanmar Mekong River Friendship Bridge will be completed next month and will officially open for public use in May this year, Lao News Agency reported, citing officials.

The bridge, located at Houa Koum village of Long District in Luang Namtha Province, is currently about 95% complete and will become a symbol of good relations and increasing cooperation between Laos and Myanmar as well as the region.

On the Myanmar side, it is located about 500m to the south of Kenglap, Thachilek District, in Shan State.

This bridge is about 700km north of Vientiane, about 940km from Naypyidaw of Myanmar, and about 1,020km from Hanoi.

The Laos-Myanmar Friendship Bridge is approximately 691 metres in length, 11 metres wide, and will have two lanes going each direction for vehicles that are each 8.5 meters wide. There will also be sidewalks on both sides of the bridge that will be 1.2 meters wide.

This bridge has been designed for 10 wheel trucks with maximum gross weight of 75 tonnes.  It has also been designed to withstand earthquakes that are below 7 on the Richter scale, and will allow ships weighing less than 500 tonnes to pass.

The construction cost of the bridge is approximately US$26 million and is being shared between the governments of Laos and Myanmar.