LUANG NAMTHA, 26 February 2015: The Laos-Myanmar Mekong River Friendship Bridge, linking National Road 17 in Laos with National Road 4 in Myanmar, will be completed next month and will officially opened May this year.
Lao New Agency reported the bridge is currently about 95% complete.
The Laos-Myanmar Friendship Bridge is located at Houa Koum village of Long district in Luang Namtha province. It is about 15 km north of Xiangkok village.
On the Myanmar side, the bridge stands about 500 metres to the south of Kenglap, Thachilek district, Lat San, Myanmar.
Known as the Laos-Myanmar Friendship Bridge is 691 metres long, 11 metres wide, and will have two lanes going each direction for vehicles. There will also be sidewalks that will be 1.2 metres 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.
The construction cost USD26 million and is being shared between the governments of Lao PDR and Myanmar.
It is the first bridge spanning the two countries across the Mekong River.
The project manager, Xaisongkham Manotham, confirmed construction began in February of 2013.
“When complete, it will link National Road No 17 in Lao PDR to National Road No 4 in Myanmar the improving road connection between the two countries and making it easier to trade”
Up until the bridge opens, traders have to use ferry boats to cross the river and then continue their trip by road.