The government and a Chinese company from Yunnan province will jointly develop the 460km expressway, Minister of Public Works and Transport Bounchanh Sinthavong told the National Assembly (NA) recently.
The government holds a 5 per cent stake and the Chinese company holds the remaining 95 per cent share in the project, with a 50-year concession period. The project will be carried out under the Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) model.
A concession agreement was signed by both sides in April this year for the first section of the highway, linking Vientiane with Vangvieng district, Vientiane province. This section is referred to as the Vientiane-Vangvieng Expressway.
Construction of the expressway is expected to begin when the rainy season ends, a source associated with the project said.
Bounchanh told the ongoing 5th Ordinary Session of the NA’s 8th Legislature that people in the villages of Naxon, Nongkhankhou and Ilaitay in Vientiane have been compensated for the loss of their property as construction will soon begin in this area.
Work is being accelerated, including the collection of information about other affected property, so that the remaining families can be compensated.
The expressway will cut through four districts – one in Vientiane and three in Vientiane province. Families in 65 villages will be affected by the project.
The cost of construction is estimated at about US$1.3 billion. Once construction begins, it will take about three years to complete the road.
With the speed limit set at 100 km per hour, it could take just over an hour to drive the 109.12-km expressway from Vientiane to Vangvieng, much less than the three hours or so it currently takes to make the journey on Road 13 North.
The toll fee for a one-way journey on the expressway was initially estimated at about 55,000 kip.
Road 13 North will remain open as an alternative route.
The four-lane Vientiane-Vangvieng Expressway, which will include an 875-metre tunnel and 45 bridges totalling 2,408 metres in length, will be built in line with Chinese expressway standards.
The Vientiane-Vangvieng section is one four sections of the Vientiane-Boten Expressway. The other three sections are Vangvieng-Luang Prabang, Luang Prabang-Oudomxay, and Oudomxay-Boten.
The expressway will be built parallel to Road 13 North and the under-construction Laos-China railway.
Published : June 21, 2018
By : VIENTIANE TIMES ASIA NEWS NETWORK VIENTIANE