The new Xekoumkam and Xethamuak bridges along National Road No. 9 in Savannakhet province are approaching 80 percent completion with the official in charge expecting to hand over the projects in May.

“Construction of the two bridges is now 77.49 percent complete. We expect the work to be finished in April and will hand over the bridges in the middle of May,” the Deputy Project Director, Mr Khammanh Senphimmachack, told Vientiane Times on Monday.

“The main structures are complete and we’re now working on the railings and the bridge approaches,” he said.

The two concrete and steel bridges are part of the Road No. 9 upgrade which forms the East-West Economic Corridor linking Laos with Thailand and Vietnam.

The Xekoumkam Bridge crosses the river of the same name and is located at Km 123 in Nonsa-art village, Phalanxay district. Designed and being built to international standards, the completed bridge will be 90 metres long and 10.30 metres wide with two traffic lanes and sidewalks.

The Xethamuak Bridge crosses the river of the same name and is located at Km 140 in Oudomxay village, Phin district. This bridge will be 160 metres long and 11.80 metres wide, with two traffic lanes and sidewalks, and is being built to the highest standards.

The two bridges will have a load-bearing capacity of more than 40 tonnes and the traffic lanes will be surfaced with asphalt.

Vehicles travelling along this route are being diverted to temporary bridges nearby.

Construction of the two bridges began in January 2017 with completion originally planned for June 2019 at a projected cost of more than 196 billion kip (2.528 million yen) which includes the cost of consulting services and construction.

Project funding includes grant assistance from the Japan International Cooperation Agency while the Lao government has contributed 10 billion kip to the project.

The bridges will more easily link National Road No. 9 from Savannakhet province to the Vietnam border and offer a shortcut for motorists travelling through the province and ease trade between Laos and Vietnam.

The bridges will boost the overall economic development of the region by improving the flow of goods between communities while easing transport to neighbouring countries.

Source: VT

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