Vientiane Expressway Route Under Scrutiny

Source: Vientiane Times

Ministries are examining the route of the planned Vientiane expressway to ensure that it avoids densely populated communities after the government recently approved construction of the 14-km expressway in the city centre.

Government bodies are carrying out a thorough study and analysis to verify that the project will be beneficial, as it will require considerable investment and high technical standards.

An official in charge of the project, Dr Bouavone Souklasaeng, told Vientiane Times yesterday the Ministry of Public Works and Transport has completed 80 percent of its study.

The ministry notes that the expressway will pass through 13 villages in Xaysettha district and six villages in Xaythany district.

Meanwhile the Ministry of Planning and Investment and the Ministry of Finance are looking into financing. Project officials will seek funding from several sources and will need US$150 million to US$200 million to build the expressway.

Dr Bouavone said the authorities recently invited several major banks in Laos to assess the losses that would be incurred by people whose property and farmland would be demolished so the expressway could be built.

Compensation will be provided to families who have to relocate to make way for the expressway, but the road corridor is being designed to avoid crowded areas to minimise the impacts.

The ministries should have completed their work by August when the details of the project will be considered and approved before any construction can begin, Dr Bouavone said.

Construction is expected to start this year following government approval , with completion slated for 2019.

The six-lane expressway, with a planned width of 70 metres, will be built parallel to Kaysone Phomvihane Road and will run from the Lao International Trade Exhibition and Convention Centre (Lao-ITECC) in Xaysettha district to Dongmakkhai village in Xaythany district.

Buildings, shops and other business premises along Kaysone Phomvihane Road will not be affected.
Over the 14 kilometres of its length, the expressway will link with several key roads including Road No. 13 and the 450 Year Road. It will also link to the planned Laos-China railway when it is built.