11 July 2024

Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha and his Laotian counterpart, Phankham Viphavanh, jointly presided over the official ceremony to lay the foundation stone of the 5th Thai-Lao Friendship Bridge, linking Thailand’s Bueng Kan province with Bolikhamxay province in Laos.

Actual construction of the bridge began some time ago and is now 57% complete. It is expected to open to traffic in 2024. The bridge is 1.35km long, with 815 metres on the Thai side of the border and the rest in Laos.

The bridge is part of the Greater Mekong Sub-region Economic Cooperation program (GMS) and the Ayeyawady-Chao Phraya-Mekong Economic Cooperation Strategy (ACMECS), to develop a road network connecting the five Mekong riparian countries of Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Myanmar and Cambodia.

The first Thai-Lao Friendship Bridge links Nong Khai with Vientiane, the second links Mukdahan and Savannakhetprovinces, the third is between Nakhon Phanom and Khammouane provinces and the fourth links Chiang Khong District of Chiang Rai with Huay Xai province.