Thai–Lao Friendship Bridge

Thai–Lao Friendship Bridge

Thai–Lao Friendship Bridge

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Description:
The First Thai–Lao Friendship Bridge (, pronounced ; , ) is a bridge over the Mekong, connecting Nong Khai province and the city of Nong Khai in Thailand with Vientiane Prefecture in Laos - the city of Vientiane is approximately 20&nbsp;km from the bridge. With a length of 1,170m (0.73&nbsp;mi), the bridge has two 3.5m (11&nbsp;ft&nbsp;6&nbsp;in) wide road lanes, two 1.5m (4&nbsp;ft&nbsp;11&nbsp;in) wide footpaths and a single gauge <!-- not so (4&nbsp;ft&nbsp;3.4&nbsp;in) --> railway line in the middle, straddling the narrow central reservation.

  • The rail gauge is 1000mm.
  • The loading gauge might be 3000mm.
  • The structure gauge (roughly equal to a road lane) might be about 4000mm.


History

Opened on April 8, 1994, it was the first bridge across the lower Mekong, and the second on the full course of the Mekong.

The cost was about US$30 million, funded by the Australian government as development aid for Laos.

The bridge was built by Australian companies as a demonstration of the capabilities of their ability to complete major infrastructural projects in Southeast Asia. This mixing of development aid with commercial interests was criticized by some NGO.

The official name of the bridge was changed by the addition of "First" after the Second Thai–Lao Friendship Bridge further south opened in January 2007.

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