The government has revealed that the fifth Thai-Lao Friendship Bridge, which connects Thailand’s Bueng Kan province with Laos’ Bolikhamsai, is expected to open early in 2024.
Deputy Government Spokesperson Tipanan Sirichana provided details on the latest developments concerning the fifth Thai-Lao Friendship Bridge. She said construction is progressing faster than expected, with the middle section of the bridge connecting both sides expected to be completed by the middle of the year.
Authorities expect the bridge to open by early next year, which will enhance border trade and upgrade Bueng Kan into a regional trade hub.
Construction of the fifth Thai-Lao Friendship Bridge began on October 28, 2022. The ceremony was presided over by Thai Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha and former Laotian Prime Minister Phankham Viphavanh. The bridge is accessible via a road that begins at the 123-km point on Highway 222 in Bueng Kan and connects with Highway 13 in Bolikhamsai.
Construction has been budgeted at 3.6 billion baht, with Thailand covering 2.5 billion baht and Laos funding the remainder.
The deputy government spokesperson said the completion of the bridge will open up a 150-km transport route between Thailand and Vietnam through Laos, which will facilitate trade between the countries.
The bridge will also play an important role in strengthening trade throughout the Greater Mekong Subregion, a trade network between Thailand, Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, and China’s Yunnan province. (NNT)