More than 500,000 people living adjacent to sections of National Road 13 will benefit from the improvements planned in the National Road 13 Improvement and Maintenance Project.
The agreement for the project was signed today by the Vice Minister of Finance, Mme Thipphakone Chanthavongsa, and the World Bank Country Manager Nicola Pontara. The project will improve the condition, safety, and climate resilience of critical sections of National Road 13, Lao PDR’s most important corridor, which is integral to domestic and regional connectivity.
Many parts of the road have not been rehabilitated since the main sections were completed in 1997 and now require major improvements to keep up with the growth in use. Some sections, especially those around the capital of Vientiane, are expected to reach maximum capacity in the next five years as traffic rapidly increases.
“National Road 13 is vital to our economy, and its upgrade, rehabilitation and maintenance will broaden access to markets, jobs and public services, while also making travel safer. An improved National Road 13 brings Lao PDR closer to its goal of more inclusive growth,” said Dr. Bounchanh Sinthavong, Minister of Public Works and Transport of Lao PDR.
In addition to road expansion and improvement, the project will strengthen the road’s resilience to climate change and ensure it lasts longer. Road safety measures and improvedpedestrian facilities will make the road safer, particularly for women and children from local communities who use the road to walk to and from markets and schools. Measures to curtail the overloading of trucks will help increase the efficiency of funds allocated for road maintenance.
“National Road 13 is key to Lao PDR and its economy. Upgrading, rehabilitating and maintaining this corridor will make travel safer, quicker, and more reliable. This will encourage inclusive growth and a better business environment in the country,” said Nicola Pontara, World Bank Country Manager for Lao PDR.
The project will first focus on the high traffic corridor outside of Vientiane of Sikeut-Phonhong (km 12-70), which is currently the country’s busiest stretch of road, and also vulnerable to severe flooding.
To be implemented from 2018 to 2023, the project will receive US$40 million in financing from the International Development Association (World Bank), and co-financing of US$40 million, US$38.5 million, and US$9.5 million from, respectively, the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, the Government of Lao PDR, and the Nordic Development Fund. The Ministry of Public Works and Transport will implement the project, using an Output and Performance-Based Road contract to support more efficient use of funds.