Expressway Planned between Vientiane and Pakse in Laos

Government has an ambitious plan to build an expressway stretching 585 km from Vientiane Capital to Champassak Province.

Deputy Chief Cabinet of the Ministry of Planning and Investment, Mr Fongsamouth Khamvanvongsa said that the government has opened up a chance for private and foreign companies to invest in construction of the expressway in the pattern of a Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) concession.

Currently, many local and foreign companies and investors have applied for the concessional construction of the new expressway which will be 23 metres wide and comprise four 3.5 metre wide lanes, Mr Fongsamouth said on February 1 in Vientiane.

The road will be built based on ASEAN expressway standards, grade 1 and be able to accommodate loads up to 11 tonnes per axle.

The construction of the new expressway will be along National Road No 13 South and is being considered due to the growth of transportation moving between the central and southern parts of the country and also to boost economic growth in Laos as well as other ASEAN member countries.

Interested firms and investors can submit an official letter and a draft concession for investment to the Ministry of Planning and Investment through February 14, 2017.

The selected firm will sign a Memorandum of Understanding with Lao authorities and will be required to conduct a survey of the expressway, as well as a feasibility study and a detailed design.

Currently, travel time by car between Pakse and Vientiane takes over nine hours on average. With the expressway, travel time could be reduced to less than seven hours for the 650-km long ride.