5th Lao-Thai Friendship Bridge Construction Reaches 72% Completion
Photo via Vientiane Times
Construction work on the 5th Lao-Thai Friendship Bridge has surpassed 72% completion, and is expected to be completely finished by the end of 2024. The bridge will connect Paksan, Bolikhamsai Province (Lao PDR) to Bueng Kan Province (Thailand) across the Mekong River. The bridge is set to further boost connectivity in the GMS and enhance regional transport networks, providing impetus for more trade, investment, and tourism among GMS countries.
Lao PDR and Thailand agreed to undertake the project in August 2019. Construction began in January 2021, financed by a loan by the two countries from the Neighboring Countries Economic Development Cooperation Agency (NEDA) of Thailand.
The bridge's design is inspired by the “khaen,” a traditional bamboo pipe instrument commonly found in the Mekong Basin region. The bridge features two carriageways and a shoulder and sidewalk on both sides. It will span 1,350 meters. Roads linked to the Lao PDR side provide connectivity to Viet Nam and PRC.
The bridge was listed under the GMS Regional Investment Framework 2022, adopted during the 6th GMS Summit of Leaders in 2018. The RIF 2022: Third Progress Report and Update (2020), endorsed at the 24th Ministerial Conference in November 2020, features an identified financing source for the project.
Last Updated: 22 May 2023