Laos: Over 61 percent of Savannakhet Road No 9 bridges complete
More than 61 percent of the project to build two bridges along National Road No 9 –Xekoumkam Bridge and Xethamuak Bridge – in Savannakhet province has been completed to some 61.28 percent.
“We expect the bridges will be completed before the planned timeframe. Currently, we importing beam bridges from Japan to continue the construction,” the deputy project director, Mr Khammanh Senphimmachack, told Vientiane Timeson Friday.
The two concrete and steel bridges are part of efforts to upgrade Road No 9, which forms the East-West Economic Corridor linking Laos with Thailand and Vietnam.
Xekoumkam Bridge is across the Xekoumkam River and located at Km 123, Nonsa-art village, Phalanxay district. The bridge will be 90 metres long and 10.30 metres wide and have two traffic lanes with two sidewalks. The bridge was designed and is being built to international standards.
The Xethamuak Bridge is across the Xethamuak River and located at Km 140 in Oudomxay village, Phin district.
This bridge will be 160 metres long and 11.80 metres wide, with two traffic lanes and two sidewalks, and is being built to the highest standards.
The two bridges, with a load-bearing capacity of more than 40 tonnes, are being made of concrete and steel with asphalt laid on the surface of the traffic lanes. Vehicles travelling along this route are currently being diverted to temporary bridges nearby.
Construction of the two bridges began in early January 2017 and they will be completed in June 2019 at a projected cost of more than 196 billion kip (2.528 million yen), which will include funding for consultancy services and construction.
The funding includes grant assistance from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the Lao government is contributing 10 billion kip for the project.
The bridges will more easily link National Road No 9 from Savannakhet province to the Vietnam border. They will offer a shortcut for motorists travelling through the province and help contribute to commercial activities between Laos and Vietnam.
The bridges will also be important for economic development of the region by improving the flow of goods between communities and easing transport to the neighbouring country, the official in-charge of the project said.