Ground TransportationConstruction on the 45-billion-baht expressway is 30% complete, with opening expected in 2021.

Laos builds an expressway to China and Vietnam

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Laos 190708
The Thai-Lao Friendship Bridge currently connects capital Vientiane with Thailand’s northeastern province of Nong Khai. Photo Credit: panida wijitpanya/Getty Images

The project is 30% complete, and is expected to be open in 2021, according to Pheng, Bangkok Post reported.

The Laotian government has unveiled a plan to build an expressway and three motorways stretching more than 1,700km that will link the country with China and Vietnam.

Construction on the expressway has already begun, and will run 113.5km northwards from the capital to the tourist town of Vang Vieng.

The government will need at least 283-billion-baht (US$9.2 billion) to complete the project, according to Pheng Douangngeun, chief of the Lao Department of Roads.

The project is 30% complete, and is expected to be open in 2021, according to Pheng, Bangkok Post reported.

The 45-billion-baht expressway is part of a larger project linking Vientiane with southern China. Officials are also looking to add a 450-km motorway from Vang Vieng to Boten, a border town on the opposite side of the Chinese town of Mohan.

An additional 80 billion baht will be required, he said.

The new expressways will not only make a trip to China faster, but it will also ease travel from Thailand.

Currently, Vientiane and the northeastern province of Nong Khai are linked via the Thai-Lao Friendship Bridge over the Mekong River. Once completed, the expressway will link motorists from the Lao capital to Vang Vieng.

There are also plans to build another two motorways to facilitate both domestic and international transport.

Officials are conducting a feasibility study on a capital-to-capital motorway, which stretches 700km from Vientiane to Hanoi.

Its construction cost, from Vientiane to the Lao border checkpoint of Namphao and Cao Treo in the neighbouring country, will cost 158 billion baht, Pheng said.


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