Government of Laos Steps Up Road-building Initiative

Third Lao-Thai Friendship Bridge
Third Lao-Thai Friendship Bridge.

The government is stepping up its road development program in the provinces in order to improve travel and fulfill the country’s goal of becoming land-linked.

Vientiane Times reports that The Ministry of Public Works and Transport has invested in new and improved highways over the last three years to increase local and international connectivity.

Mr. Lan Seng-Aphone, Deputy Minister of Public Works and Transport, recently summarized the work completed from 2019-2021, according to reports.

Between Naxaithong and Phonhong districts in Vientiane Province, a stretch of National Road 13 North has been upgraded and has reached 54.64 percent completion, while another section of Road No. 13 South, between the 71km and 346km markers is also being upgraded.

Meanwhile, the ministry has conducted a feasibility study for upgrading National Road 8 with funding from the Korea International Cooperation Agency and National Road 12 with funding from Thailand’s Neighboring Countries Economic Development Cooperation Agency (NEDA).

According to Mr. Lan, four roads have been upgraded over the past three years.

Road No. 6 between Viengxay and Namsoiy and Road No. 6 between Hanglong and Sobbao in Huaphan province are being upgraded as part of a funding provided by the Asian Development Bank.

Meanwhile, Road No. 4B from Hongsa District in Xayaboury Province to Xiengman in Luang Prabang has also been upgraded with funding provided by Thailand, while Savannakhet Province will see Road No. 2.6313 from Thapangthong District to Toumlan District in Salavanh Province being improved under China’s

Road No. 4B from Hongsa District in Xayaboury province to Xiengman area in Luang Prabang province has also been upgraded with NEDA funding.

China, through its China North Industries Group Corporation Limited (NORINCO), began upgrading Road No. 2.6313 from Thapangthong district in Savannakhet province to Toumlan district in Salavanh Province in 2018, according to China Daily.

At the same time, bridges have been built or repaired in a number of provinces, including the 5th Lao-Thai Friendship Bridge connecting Paksan in Bolikhamxay Province with Bueng Kan Province, Thailand, which will serve as a significant transportation corridor connecting Thailand and many Vietnamese cities via Laos.

Vientiane Times reports that the ministry will continue to upgrade the road network in order to promote regional connectivity. This will include the improvement of several national roads, including National Road 9, which connects Kaysone Phomvihane City to Xeno District on the Laos-Vietnam border.

The Government is eager to pursue its policy of transforming Laos from a landlocked country to a land-linked one.