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.

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