CHIANG RAI, May 14 (TNA) – Construction of the fourth Thai-Lao bridge, connecting Thailand’s Chiang Rai with China’s Kunming is set to start in June, according to Thai Transport Minister Sophon Zarum.
The fourth North-South Economic Corridor Intenational Bridge Project (Houayxay-Chiang Khong) will be finished in November 2012, he said.
The signing ceremony on the bridge construction was carried out Friday by Mr Sophon and his Lao counterpart.
The Bt1.5 billion (US$46 million) budget for the bridge construction is paid half and half by Thailand and China, he said.
Lao Minister of Communications, Transport, Posts and Construction Sommat Phonsena said that the Lao PDR was glad that Thai authorities will construct the bridge as Laos is a landlocked country and the bridge will help connect Laos with neighboring countries to boost trade and tourism.
Thai Highways Department director-general Veera Ruangsooksriwong said that an eight-year feasibility study of the project was conducted.
The project will link Chiang Rai and Kunming by route R3A under the Strategic Framework of the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) Cooperation.
The level of the project’s economic value measured by the studies is at level two, higher than the standard level at one.
The Highway Department outlined and designed the detail of the project. The CR5- KT Joint Venture (China’s Railway No. 5 Engineering Group and the Krung Thon Engineers Co.) have been hired to operate the project. (TNA)
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