Thailand, Laos to open more friendship bridge this November

TNDT 09:09, 01/05/2024

The fifth Thai - Lao friendship bridge, which links Bueng Kan province of Thailand with Pakxan town of Laos, is scheduled to open this November.

Deputy Transport Minister of Thailand Manaporn Charoensri said recently that the project features a 1.35km crossover with a dual-lane road traversing the Mekong River and a four-lane bypass on the Thailand side.

The bypass links Highway No.222 (Bueng Kan - Phang Khon) with Nong Khai, Nakhon Phanom and Sakon Nakhon provinces of Thailand. Additionally, a 2.86km dual-lane bypass in Pakxan is also included in the project.

Manaporn noted the project, worth 3.9 billion THB (105 million USD) in total, aims to facilitate transportation between Thailand and Laos. When operational, the bridge will help transporters decrease costs and time spent on cargo transportation between the two countries, thus benefiting logistics and tourism.

She also anticipated more investment and employment opportunities, along with city expansion in Bueng Kan thanks to this project, adding that the improved connectivity with Vietnam and the southern region of China is expected to contribute to this development.

The official mentioned plans for infrastructure building to support sustainable development in the four Thai provinces bordering Laos. Bueng Kan, Nakhon Phanom, Mukdahan, and Sakon Nakhon provinces have been identified as high-potential economic zones. Two out of a future total of six Thai - Lao friendship bridges are located in this area.

The ongoing development projects in the area include a double-track railway and road network, which has been allocated 1.6 billion THB from this year’s fiscal budget. Their total cost is over 72 billion THB. They aim to enhance transport links between Thailand, Laos, Vietnam and China, she added.