By Vientiane Times
Asia News Network
A ceremony to hand over the new bridges, held at the Ministry of Public Works and Transport in Vientiane on Wednesday, was attended by the Minister of Public Works and Transport, Dr Bounchanh Sinthavong, China's Ambassador to Laos, Mr Wang Wentian, the Deputy Governor of Attapeu, Mr Souksamai Chanthamath, and officials of the two sides.
Since the collapse of a dam at the Xe-Pian Xe-Namnoy hydropower plant inundated Sanamxay district on July 23, many government sectors, businesses and people from within the country and abroad have provided aid and relief materials to help flood victims in the area.
However, it is still difficult to transport goods to Sanamxay because the old wooden bridges in the area can only accommodate three-tonne vehicles.
In line with the coordination between the Lao and Chinese governments, the Laos-China Railway Project assigned two Chinese companies with 160 personnel and 50 machines to construct the bridges within 45 days from August 18.
Speaking at the ceremony, the Director General of the Roads Department under the Ministry of Public Works and Transport, Mr Pheng Duangngeun, said, "The four bridges are located along Road No 18A in Sanamxay district. This project was financially supported by the Laos-China Railway Project."
"The four bridges are steel bridges and they were constructed to solve the problem of transporting relief materials and other supplies to victims in the disaster zone."
The steel bridges are capable of accommodating vehicles weighing up to 45 tonnes, according to local officials.
The distance between Sammakhixay and Sanamxay is 30 km and motorists can comfortably travel along the route after the construction of the bridges.
During the ceremony, Dr Bounchanh presented Development Medals to representatives of the Chinese companies for their contributions in the construction of the bridges.