Paklaibridge to Be Earthquake Resistant


Construction workers on Nasak-Khokkhaodor Bridge being built across the Mekong River to link the provinces of Xayaboury and Vientiane took many months to complete the underwater pylons supporting the bridge.

Project management has confirmed that those pylons have been built to the required engineering standards and will be earthquake proof.

Workers on the Nasak-Khokkhaodor Bridge or Paklaibridge crossing the Mekong River also took many months to build the bridge approaches on each side of the steel truss bridge.

The project manager in charge of construction, Mr. Bouavieng Champaphan, told Vientiane Times on Tuesday that the structure of the main bridge has now linked the two sides of the river after 20 months of delays.

The Paklaibridge has been erected in a quite deep section of the Mekong valley, so it was necessary to build 64 pylons under the water to support the bridge structure and make it earthquake proof.

The cost of construction of the pylons under the ground and the road approach to the bridge was about 129 billion kip.

The bridge itself is made of steel but in December a concrete road surface will be added to the deck.

Mr. Bouavieng added that motorists will be able to use the bridge across the river after the concrete has been paved for 28 days because that’s a standard to ensure concrete strength.

The bridge will be able to carry trucks weighing up to 80 tonnes, however, Lao law prohibits a truck weighing such an amount to travel on associated roads and bridges linking to the bridge.

The total cost of bridge construction is about 189 billion kip, with the Netherlands government providing grant aid totaling some 2.3 million euros (over 20 billion kip) towards the construction of the bridge.

The remainder of the funds came from the Lao government.

Previously, some local residents watching the bridge being built across the Mekong River to link the provinces of Xayaboury and Vientiane questioned what kind of loads it would be able to carry.

A number of residents commented that there are only four bridge pylons visible to them, which might be different to other bridges they have crossed, but project managers would like to stress that maybe those people don’t understand steel truss bridge construction.

The bridge is being built to recognised standards but maybe some citizens lack knowledge of the load bearing characteristics of steel truss bridges.

People see four bridge pylons but under the water and inside the ground there are 64 pylons supporting the bridge structure

At 365 metres, this will be the longest metal bridge in Laos. The Thangon Bridge that crosses the Nam Ngum River in Vientiane is the second longest metal bridge.

If well maintained, the Nasak-Khokkhaodor Bridge should last for 100 years.

It connects Nasak village in Paklai district, Xayaboury province, to Khokkhaodor village in Xanakham district, Vientiane province, and is the third bridge linking Xayaboury with neighbouring provinces.

The other two are the bridge spanning the Mekong River between Thadeua village in Xayaboury province and Pakkhone village in LuangPrabang province, while the third crosses the Mekong at Pakbaeng, linking Xayaboury and Oudomxay provinces.

The Nasak-Khokkhaodor Bridge will ease tourist travel from Loei province in Thailand to Vientiane via Road No. 4 in Xayaboury province and Road No. 11 on the left side of the Mekong River.

Vientiane is 204km from the Nasak-Khokkhaodor Bridge, which is reached via Road No. 11.

Source: Vientiane Times