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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs     4 October  2011                    

New Thai-Lao bridge to open

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The third Thai-Lao Friendship Bridge across the Mekong river is now 99 per cent complete and will be officially opened on November 11.

After a meeting of Thai and Lao highway officials to discuss the opening of the bridge linking Nakhon Phanom and Khammouane provinces the date was announced.

The construction of the bridge began on May 26, 2009. Italian-Thai Development Plc was contracted to complete the construction of the bridge in 900 days at a cost of 1,723 million baht, with the bill paid by the Thai government.

The bridge connects Ban Hom in tambon Artsamart of Nakhon Phanom's Muang district with Ban Veun Tai, 13 kilometres South of Thakhek town in Khammouane province of Laos.

It spans 780 metres across the Mekong river and the entire length iof the project is 5.2 kilometres including exit and entrance ramps.

Nakhon Phanom province has settled on Nov 11 - or 11/11/2011 - as an auspicious day for the official opening of the bridge, which will link Thailand with roads through Laos to Vietnam and southern China.

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This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More


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