Provinces News

Based on the surveys conducteded, the 5th Mekong River Bridge

On 20th February 2013, Mr.Sommad Pholsena, Minister of MPWT, H.E Mr.Chatchad Sitthiphanh, Minister of Communication Thailand, Mr.Panh Noimany Governor of Bolikhamsai province, H.E the Ambassador of Thailand to Lao PDR, together with staff from both parties’ visited the proposed construction site for the planned 5th Mekong River Bridge crossing from Bolikhamsai in Lao PDR, and Buang Kan province of Thailand. Based on the surveys conducted, the 5th Mekong River Bridge  joining Bolikhamsai and Buang Kan provinces, will be located at Kouya village, Paksanh district, Bolikhamxai province of the Lao PDR, and at Houay Sieam Neu village, Bungkan province of Thailand.

The bridge will improve communication and transport links to four countries such as: Lao, Thai, Vietnam and China. Thailand will use National Road No. 212 link to Nongkhai, Bungkan and Nakhone Phanom provinces, crossing the bridge to the Lao side to Paksanh district, then via National Road No.13  linking to Road No. 8, passing Khamkeuth district (km 20) of Bolikhamsai province to Ving district, Ge Anh province of Vietnam, and then onto Phingxieng at the Chinese border and further on to reach Nanning, Kuangxi, southern  China. This road is appropriate to communication-goods transport and tourism.
At the present the proposed width of Bridge will be 980 meters, and it is possible that dimensions may change according to the real situation when construction commences. This 5th Mekong River Friendship Bridge will be constructed responding to the needs of users.

Opening Ceremony for National Road no. 9 Improvement, Savannakhet province

 On 13 February 2013, the opening ceremony for National Road No. 9 improvement was held at Thapalanhxai district, Savannakhet province. The province was honored by the attendance at the opening ceremony  by Mr. Sommad Pholsena, Minister of MPWT, H.E Mrs.Yunkota Japanese Ambassador to Lao PDR, Mr. Kaisone Khunlatsavong, Vice Governor of Savannakhet province, JICA Country Director to Lao PDR, and staffs involved with the project also attended.  This National Road No. 9 improvement project is one of the priority projects in the Government’s development plan  for 2000-2015, as Lao PDR has no sea border, this road will be a strategic link to sea ports in neighboring countries and provide transit for freight transportation. The Road improvement project was initiated based on agreement of the Minister of MPWT number 1614/pwt, dated 15 November 2011. 

Because of its strategic location, road No: 9 is a link between East and West, and  an important link for the Great Mekong Sub-region economic corridor from East to West. The National Road No. 9 improvement project makes an important contribution to basic transportation infrastructure development within Savannakhet as well as Lao PDR by raising standards to international levels.  It also enables Lao PDR, a land locked nation, to become a transit country for the sub-region. This road will provide facilities to people in the sub-region for traveling, goods production, marketing and promotion, tourism and trade exchange.

The construction contract was signed on 26 April 2012,  between construction contractor Obayashi Road Joint Venture Company and Ministry of Public Works and Transport,  with Oriental and IDCJ companies acting as consultants for project.

The road No. 9 upgrading is divided into two phases: Phase 1 starts from km 28+800 (Adsaphangthong District) to km 75+800 (Phalanxai District); Phase 2 it begin from km 113+800 (Phine District). The process will remove the old asphalt surface and upgrade road sub-base surface by filling with aggregate and making two asphalt layers with  thickness of 10 cm. Road width is 9 meters, and there are concrete drainage channels on both sides. The road can carry  vehicles weighing about 11 tons per axle, and the driving speed t is an average of 56.3 km/hour.

The total cost of the project is 2,464 million Japanese’s Yen. The  cost of the consultants is 100% borne by the Government of Japan , about 276 million Japanese’s Yen. The Government of Lao contributed to the project by providing tax exemptions and waiving other fees, providing facilities for temporary camp site, electricity, removal of unexploded ordinance, obstacles and assisted with other  issues related to construction. This project will be finished over 3 years, from 2012-2015. Road no. 9 is important to transport within the area, the road improvement will bring great benefits to sociology economic development, poverty reduction and continue to upgrade the daily life of Lao people.

Ceremony held to mark construction of the Lao-Myanmar Mekong River Friendship Bridge

On 16 February 2013, at Xiengkok village, Long district, Luangnamtha province, a ground breaking ceremony was held to mark construction of the Lao-Myanmar Mekong River Friendship Bridge. The ceremony was honored by the  attendance of Mr. Sommad Pholsena, Minister of MPWT, Mr. Cho Linh Minister of Construction in Myanmar, Mr. Phimmasone Leungkhamma Governor of Luangnamtha province, H.E the  Ambassador  and staff involved in the project from both sides.

On this occasion, Mr. Xaisongkham Manotham, project manager, on behalf of Department of Roads provided a report regarding the project as follows: The project responds to the needs of both the governments of Lao PDR and Myanmar by providing convenient border crossing facilities which will enhance better friendship and cooperation between the two countries. In the past, both country’s leaders shared the same vision to construct the Mekong Bridge from Xiengkok in Lao PDR, across to Kenglap in Myanmar. This location is not only an important link between Lao PDR and Myanmar  but it will also improve linkages in the sub-region. The technical staff of both countries, especially MPWT of the Lao PDR and Ministry of Construction of Myanmar, conducted  surveys of and around the construction area and organized several meetings to ensure the Bridge could be constructed according to the plan. 

The Bridge is therefore an output of the cooperation between the Lao and Myanmar Governments. It was during the visit of H.E. Thein Sein, President of Myanmar, at the invitation of H.E. Choummaly Xaiyasone, President of Lao PDR, on the  22 March 2012 that both parties signed an agreement on the Friendship Mekong River Bridge Construction. Following this, the Department of Roads, Lao MPWT cooperated with Department of Public Works, Myanmar Ministry of Construction to carry out surveys and design the Bridge together in May 2012. At the present, the Bridge’s design is complete and ready for construction.

The Lao-Myanmar Friendship Bridge located at Houa Koum village, it is  about 15km north from Xiangkok village ,and belongs to Long district, Luangnamtha province of the Lao PDR. On the Myanmar side, it is located about 500m to the south of Kenglap , Thachilek district, Lat San, Myanmar. This Bridge is about 698 km north from Vientiane Capital in Lao PDR, about 940 km from Nai Pi Taw Myanmar, and about 1020 km distance from Hanoi, and also about 1868 km from the borders of Myanmar-India-Bangladesh. The Lao-Myanmar Friendship Bridge is 691.6 meters in length, 10.9 meters wide, holds two lanes for vehicles of 8.5 meters each, side walks on both sides of 1.2 meter width each. The Bridge is composed of mixed beams, the steel beam is 360 meters length and 12 meters high at the middle and concrete beam is 331.6 meters at the bank side.This Bridge is designed for 10 wheel trucks with maximum gross weights of 75 tons, and resist  earth quakes below 7 rectors intensity, and ships less than 500 tons can pass.

The Bridge will cost about 18 million US dollars and the Governments of Lao PDR and Myanmar will bear the cost. Construction will finish within 30 months starting from 16 February 2013 up until 15 August 2015. After the Lao-Myanmar Friendship Bridge is complete, it will mark the significance of cooperation and friendship between Lao and Myanmar. The Bridge will link to National Road No. 17 of Lao PDR to National Road No. 4 of Myanmar, and it is aimed to provide easy access, facilitate trade exchange and bring great benefits to both nations. It will also link the countries within sub-region especially Lao, Myanmar, Vietnam and China, and in the future it could also link to India and Bangladesh via National Road No.17, 13 and 2E of Lao PDR, and National Road No. 4 of Myanmar.

MOU on Land Transport between the three parties Cambodia-Lao-Vietnam (CLV)

 In order to provide the Lao PDR with links to the sea and offer more access to sea ports, the Government of Lao PDR has implemented a policy changing the perception of Laos as a land locked country, to one of a nation that can link to other countries that can provide sea port access and transit services in communication and transport. There is an important need to successfully implement the Development Triangle Area (DTA) initiative for the three countries of Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia. The Lao Ministry of Public Works and Transport has initiated discussions and prepared an MOU on Land Transport between the three neighboring countries.

During the preparation, the National leaders and representatives of the three countries exchanged visits and surveyed the road networks in the DTA. There were both official and UN-official discussions in drafting the MOU between the three parties (Cambodia-Lao-Vietnam). Official discussions were organized on three occasions: the first time in 2010 at Dong Xuane district, Bing Pheuke province, Vietnam; second time in 2011 at Vientiane Capital, Lao PDR; third time in 2012 at Dalat district, Leumdong province, Vietnam. After the three official discussions, the MOU content was agreed to officially. The MOU states that the objectives are to provide facilities on land transport within three countries, through international immigration at each country. In the beginning, it will allow 150 freight trucks to cross in-country and later, more numbers can be added based on the agreement of 3 countries. For vehicles not used doing business, such as official and diplomatic cars, these can pass any time.

The benefit of this signed MOU will provide opportunities to Lao PDR on the alternatives of using sea ports in either Cambodia or Vietnam, and transporters can pass from Cambodia to the south of Vietnam with short distance.  The MOU signing ceremony was concluded with the three country Ministers of Ministry of Transport: 1. H.E. Sommad Pholsena, Minister of Ministry of Public Works and Transport, Lao PDR; 2. H.E. Tram Iv Tek, Minister of Ministry of Public Works and Transport, the Kingdom of Cambodia; 3. H.E. Ding La Thang, Minister of Ministry of Communication and Transport, Republic of Vietnam. An observer to the signing ceremony was H.E. Chatchard Sittipunt , Minister of Ministry of Communication, from the Royal Thai Government, who attended a wittness to the MOU signing, joined by H.E. Sonexai Siphanhdone, Governor of Champasak Province, who also attended as observer.

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