Laos and Vietnam have undertaken a preliminary feasibility study for a highway linking Vientiane to Hanoi, to forge a closer connection between the two capitals.
As part of the study, Laos’ Ministry of Public Works and Transport has conducted preliminary surveys of two possible routes for the proposed highway.
Mr Olay Phaduangdeth, director-general of the ministry’s Planning and Cooperation Department, told The Vientiane Times on Friday (25 Dec 2015) the first route to be surveyed runs from Vientiane on Road No.13 South via the upgraded road in Borikhamxay province and on to Viengthong district where it will link to highways in Vietnam.
The other route uses Road No.13 North to Vietnam through Xieng Khuang and Huaphan provinces.
No cost has been suggested as the precise route has yet to be decided on. Other questions such as which country would pay for which section of the highway have also yet to be considered, according to the Lao Ministry of Public Works and Transport.
“We still don’t know when the project might begin, but we hope that the Vientiane-Hanoi highway will soon materialize after a decision has been made,” Mr Olay said.
Most people driving from Vientiane to Hanoi use the road that crosses the Namphao-Cau Treo border between Laos and Vietnam in Borikhamxay province.
The manager of the highway project estimates the cost of the 707-kilometre route at US$4.52 billion.