VIENTIANE (Vientiane Times/Asia News Network): The government is upgrading the country’s road network and is planning to build more expressways to improve logistics and help fulfil the goal for Laos to become a land-linked country.
Deputy Minister of Public Works and Transport Lan Seng-Aphone gave a summary of the work undertaken in road development over the past three years at a meeting of the public works and transport sector.
He noted that the first stage of the planned expressway between Vientiane and Boten in Luang Namtha province, at the border with China, had been completed over a distance of 109.12km between Vientiane and Vangvieng district in Vientiane province.
The section of the expressway between Boten and Huayxai district in Bokeo province has been surveyed and a feasibility study and detailed design plan are now being carried out.
A feasibility study on construction of the Vientiane-Pakxe Expressway is also being undertaken for sections 1, 2, 3 and 4 but the Memorandum of Understanding on section 5 has been cancelled because the concessionaire did not comply with the regulations.
A new expressway is also planned between the 3rd Lao-Thai Friendship in Thakhaek district to the Vietnamese border in Khammuan province, for which a feasibility study is underway.
An expressway is also planned between Pakxan district to the Vietnamese border in Xaychamphon district, Borikhamxay province.
A feasibility study is also in progress for an expressway between Thangon village in Xaythany district, Vientiane, and Sanglek village in Thoulakhom district, Vientiane province.
Over the past three years, the Ministry of Public Works and Transport has focused on road development to improve connectivity with countries in the region and further afield.
As part of this, Road No. 13 North between Sikeuth and Phonhong has been upgraded, the Pakxan-BuengKan and Kontuen-Huaykeo bridges have been built, and other improvements are taking place around the country.
The ministry is also upgrading National Highway No. 9 from Kaysone Phomvihane city to Xeno on the Laos-Vietnam border.
A feasibility study on the upgrade of National Road No. 8 has been completed through a grant from KOICA, while a similar study for National Highway No. 12 has been funded by a grant from NEDA.
In addition, over the past three years, the upgrade of Road No. 6 from Viengxay to Nam Soi, and Road No. 6A from Hanglong-Sopbao in Huaphan province has been funded by ADB.
The upgrade of Road No. 4B from Hongsa district in Xayaboury province to Xiengman district in Luang Prabang province was funded by NEDA, and the upgrade of Road 2.6313 between Thapangthong and Toumlane in Savannakhet province was funded by NORINCO.
Two bridges have been built along National Road No. 9 in Savannakhet province (Xenammuak Bridge and Xekoumkam Bridge) as well as two bridges across the Nam Houng in Xayaboury province.
Two more bridges are currently under construction across the Mekong River, namely the 5th Lao-Thai Friendship Bridge (from Pakxan district in Borikhamxay province to Bueng Kan in Thailand) and the Kontuen-Huaykeo Bridge in Bokeo province.