Pakngum Bridge Construction Underway Due to 2015 Tragedy


More than forty percent of construction for the new bridge crossing the Nam Ngum River, that will connect Nabong village to Thakokhay village in Pakngum district, has been completed.

With assistance from Lao World Public Co., Ltd, the estimated 105 billion kip (USD $12,728,100) bridge was expected to take 24 months to complete from the time of the groundbreaking ceremony, which took place in February, 2016.

Plans for construction somberly began after a boat capsized at the site on May 26, 2015, leading to the tragic drowning of 10 children.

Director of the Vientiane Public Works and Transport Department, Mr Detsongkham Thammavong, stated that the project is expected to be completed by the end of 2018. He added, “Now the project is concentrating on construction of the top of bridge pylons and then will continue on to other work. When the bridge is finished it will be toll free to serve the people.”

According to the latest blueprint, the bridge will be 236 meters in length and 11 meters wide, with two sidewalks of 1.5 metres each.

The finished bridge will provide a direct contribution to Vientiane’s development in support of the government’s overall socio-economic development plan, as it will be essential for the economic development of the region by improving the flow of goods between communities and easing transport.

The bridge will also boost trade along the river by providing convenient access to transporting goods and offering locals an incentive to participate in agricultural production due to the area having potential to grow a variety of crops.

Most importantly, local school children in the Pakngum district will now be able to travel across the bridge between Nabong and Thakokhay villages safely and conveniently.