The Ministry of Transport will propose the allocation of 140 million baht from the central fund for a feasibility and design study on the construction of a new bridge linking Thailand and Laos.
At present, four Friendship bridges are linking Thailand and Laos at Nongkhai-Vientiane, Mukdahan-Savannakhet, Nakhon Phanom-Khammouane and Chiang Khong-Huay Xay.
According to Transport Minister Saksayam Chidchob, the bridge is part of the third phase of the Thai-Chinese high-speed rail project. The bridge will connect Nong Khai and Vientiane, providing road and rail access between the two countries. The cost of building the bridge and a network of roads is estimated at about 4 billion baht, with Thailand and Laos splitting the costs and the issue to be thoroughly addressed by the joint Thai-Laos Committee.
The minister stressed the importance of completing the project before the second phase of the high-speed train project begins services in 2028.
The Department of Highways will be responsible for the design study, which is estimated to cost about 140 million baht. Director-General Sarawut Songsiwilai said the department will propose the fund allocation to the ministry next week so it can be submitted to the Cabinet before the end of February. He added that the bridge study should be completed within one year of being approved.
The fifth bridge will be located in Muang district in Bueng Kan and will link to Paksan in Bolikhamxay province in central Laos.The sixth Thai-Lao Friendship bridge will be built in Ban Na Hin Ngon in Na Tan district in Ubon Ratchathani. It will connect to Ban La Khone Pheng in Salavan province in the southern part of Laos.