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The Fourth Lao-Thai Friendship Bridge Opening

11 December 2013

On 11 December 2013, the Fourth Lao-Thai Friendship Bridge, linking northern Bokeo province to Chiang Rai, Thailand, will officially open. The bridge spans the Mekong River connecting Chiang Rai to the R3 road in Lao PDR, extending the GMS North-South economic corridor. The R3 continues to PRC’s Yunnan province.

The two-lane bridge is 680m long and 14.7m wide, and has footpaths on both sides. Construction of the US$44.8 million project began in 2010. The Thai government covered half the cost, while the remainder was financed through grant aid from the Chinese government to Lao PDR.

Three bridges currently span the Mekong between Lao PDR and Thailand: the first Lao-Thai Friendship Bridge links Vientiane with Nong Khai province; the second connects central Savannakhet province with Thailand's Mukdahan; and the third bridge links Khammuan province to Nakhon Phanom in northeastern Thailand.

Thai news agency TTR News Weekly reported that the governments of Thailand and Lao PDR have an agreement to build a fifth bridge between Lao’s Borikhamxay province and Thailand's Bung Kan province, with work to begin this December.