Two more Mekong bridges in pipeline

BANGKOK, 15 January 2015: Thailand’s Ministry of Transport says it will propose discussions with the Lao government on financing the fifth Thai-Lao Friendship Bridge.

The fifth bridge will link the northeast province of Bung Kan with Pak Sane town in Bolikhamxai province of Laos.

The ministry permanent secretary, Voradej Harnprasert, said Thailand has already completed the design work for the fifth Friendship Bridge, which is estimated to cost THB3,650 million.

“The two countries are also in the negotiating process for the construction of the sixth Friendship Bridge linking Ubon Ratchathani and Saravan.”

Inside no.4He said: “If Laos agrees to the proposed project, the Department of Highways will conduct a feasibility study, using its own budget.”

In addition, Thailand will propose to Laos the construction of additional roads linking R8 and R12, which run parallel from Nakhon Phanom across Laos to Hanoi in Vietnam.

“The additional roads will help connect Thailand and Laos with Nanning in China, speeding up transport of cargo and exports,” he noted.

The transport ministry has already assigned agencies to negotiate details so the two transport ministries can reach an accord.

Currently, there are four Thai-Lao Friendship Bridges: Vientiane-Nong Khai; Savannakhet-Mukdahan; Khammouan-Nakhon Phanom; and Chaing Rai’s Chiang Khong-Bokeo’s Hauy Xai.