The fifth Thai-Lao Friendship Bridge, which connects Thailand’s Bueng Kan province to Laos’ Bolikhamsai, is planned to open in early 2024, according to the government.
The Deputy Government Spokesperson, Tipanan Sirichana, offered an update on the fifth Thai-Lao Friendship Bridge. She said building is moving quicker than predicted, with the central piece of the bridge connecting both sides likely to be completed by the middle of the year.
Authorities anticipate that the bridge will open at the beginning of next year, which would boost border traffic and transform Bueng Kan into a regional commercial hub.
Construction of the fifth Thai-Lao Friendship Bridge commenced on October 28, 2022. Thai Prime Minister Gen. Prayut Chan-o-cha and former Lao Prime Minister Phankham Viphavanh presided over the event. The bridge is accessible by a route beginning at the 123-kilometer marker on Highway 222 in Bueng Kan and connecting to Highway 13 in Bolikhamsai.
The budget for construction is 3.6 billion baht, with Thailand providing 2.5 billion baht and Laos covering the remaining amount.
The deputy government spokeswoman stated that the completion of the bridge will provide a 150-kilometer transit route between Thailand and Vietnam via Laos, which will facilitate international trade.
The bridge will also play a significant role in bolstering commerce in the Greater Mekong Subregion, a network of trade between Thailand, Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, and the Yunnan province of China.