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Second Thai–Lao Friendship Bridge as seen from Mukdahan's Indochina Market
Second Thai–Lao Friendship Bridge, seen from Mukdahan
Change from left to right hand drive
Checkpoint near the bridge (Thai side)

The Second Thai–Lao Friendship Bridge over the Mekong connects Mukdahan Province in Thailand with Savannakhet in Laos. The bridge is 1600 meters long and 12 meters wide, with two traffic lanes.[1]

Traffic on the bridge drives on the right, as in Laos, while traffic in Thailand drives on the left; the change-over is on the Thai side.



Span under construction on shore

Bridge construction began on March 21, 2004. Supports and spans were constructed on shore, then moved out onto pylons in the river by crane.

On 22 July 2005, at about 4.45pm a crane being used to airlift concrete slabs for installation suddenly snapped. It dropped one span into the river, instantly killing Hiroshi Tanaka, 49, the Japanese chief engineer; as well as two other Japanese engineers identified as Oanoki and Yanase; three Thai named Preeda Muangkhot, Sinual Noyphan and Anon Samphaokaew; and six Lao men identified as Keo-oudon Phonthita, Kaew Vanvisay, Veelavong, Kanya and Viengsamay. Keo-oudon, who was seriously injured, died in hospital. Strong river currents swept away two Japanese engineers, Nidoru Tanadu, 34, and Hanaka, 40; a Filipino engineer identified as Frederick "Tom" Napasa, 38; three Thai identified as Thong-on Thongmaha, 29, Cherdsak Inthasen, 30 and Set Chairap, 29; and two other workers identified only as Lao and Thai.[2]

Project sign

The total cost was about 2.5 billion baht (US$70 million), funded largely by a Japanese loan.[3]An official opening ceremony was held on December 19, 2006, although the bridge only opened to the general public on January 9, 2007.


  1. ^ People's Daily, 2nd Thai-Lao Friendship Bridge officially opens, December 20 2006
  2. ^ Eight missing after crane collapse Weather hampers rescue efforts By Churot Treephapakorn (BKK Post 24/07/05)
  3. ^ International Herald Tribune, Thailand, Laos open bridge to boost trade ties in Mekong region, December 20 2006

See also

External links

Coordinates: 16°36′04″N 104°44′09″E / 16.60111°N 104.73583°E / 16.60111; 104.73583



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