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Laos-Japan Friendship Bridge spans Xekong development divide

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Lamam district, Xekong province: Connecting both sides of the Xekong River
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neighbouring Lamam and Dakcheung districts in Xekong province, the new Lao
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officially opened to the public on Monday.
The bridge is expected to greatly benefit local people in the province as well as
and international overland transportation.
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2014 and is now 100 percent complete at a projected cost of 159.7 billion kip (2
Funding came as a result of grant assistance via the Japan International Coope
Some 300 metres long and 11 metres wide, the bridge was designed and built t
It is described as a mixed cable and pre-stressed concrete box girder constructi
of 80 tonnes.
Three piers and two abutments are incorporated while foundations support 17 p
The bridge also features pedestrian footpaths and lighting for increased safety a
Speaking at the ceremony, Director General of the Roads Department, Ministry
Mr Pheng Duangngeun said, “The Xekong bridge construction project, or the La
Xekong province, is a priority project of the government, and included in the Str
Year Socio-Economic Development Plan.

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The bridge
Road No.16B, running from the centre of Xekong province to Dakcheung distric
“The bridge will contribute to the socio-economic development of Xekong provin
and contribute to upgrading livelihoods of people in Lamam, Thataeng, Kaleum
Project Manager Mr Ouphong Sompasack told those gathered.
Before the bridge was built, the Xekong River effectively served as a barrier to d
regarding on-road transportation and logistics.
Until now, boats have been used to ferry people and goods across the Xekong R
transportation due to varying water levels.
According to JICA, the bridge removes weather-related barriers to transport and
transport access for Kaleum, Sanxay, and Dakcheung districts which have prev
than average rates of poverty as a result of relative geographical isolation.
Usage is free of charge for both vehicles and foot passengers, according to offic
Connectivity via National Road No. 16B is expected to facilitate a rise in cross-b
neighbouring countries, bringing socio-economic benefits, particularly for the pe
southern provinces.
The increased transport brought by the bridge should serve to boost the income
benefit from opportunities provided by the increase in visitors and through traffic
previously lesser-developed areas.
The project is seen as an important contributor to continuing socio-economic de
as providing an important addition to National Road 16.
It is envisaged that the bridge will help to lend greater vitality to the local, nation
thanks to the provision of a transport link that encourages increased trade and i
The increased connectivity offered by the bridge comes in addition to coordinate
East-West Economic Corridor that links the country to neighbouring Thailand an

By Phomphong Laoin
(Latest Update February 13, 2018)

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