Pakxe Highway expansion set to commence An upgrade of Road No.13 South and the construction of a third bridge across the Xedon River in Pakxe district, Champassak province has commenced after receiving approval from the government. Dr Sonexay Siphandone, Dr Khamlien Pholsena, Dr Bounchan Sinthavong, Mr Peter Chan and Mr Hua Seng-aloun shake hands after signing construction contracts. The cost of the project is estimated at almost US$100 million and it should take three years to complete. On behalf of the government, the Provincial Governor Dr Sonexay Siphandone, Deputy Minister of Public Works and Transport Dr Bounchan Sinthavong and Deputy Minister of Planning and Investment Dr Khamlien Pholsena signed construction contracts with the Chairman of the Lao World Group Mr Peter Chan and Chairman of the Tangchaleun Group Mr Hua Seng-aloun at a ceremony on Wednesday. Speaking at the ceremony, provincial Public Works and Transports Department Director Dr Soukkaseum Pakdymanivong said the upgrade of Road No 13 South and the construction of the third Xedon bridge in Pakxe district is a priority project for Champassak. The project will facilitate better transportation to the other provinces and the countries of the Greater Mekong Sub-region, and was approved at the government's monthly meeting in January last year. Then the province assigned the works department to hire a company to undertake a survey, design and economic feasibility study, which was initially financed by the Tangchanleun Group. According to the department, the project will be divided into three contracts. The first contract is for the expansion and reconstruction of Road No 13 South starting from KM9 north of Pakxe to the old Xedon bridge and the roundabout at the second Xedon bridge. The road will be 8.6 km long, paved with concrete, have a dividing median strip, drainage system, streetlights, a pedestrian walkway and decorative shrubs. It will be six lanes wide (three each way) and designed to withstand 11 tonnes per axle in compliance with the technical standards of the relevant ministry. The second contract is for the construction of the third Xedon bridge, which shall be built of concrete and located close to the old Xedon bridge. The new bridge will be about 220m in length and 11 metres wide, with one lane in each direction. The third contract pertains to the expansion and reconstruction of Road No.13 South stretching from Xedon Bridge 2 to KM9 south of Pakxe. This stretch of road will be 9.75 km long. It will also be paved with concrete, have a dividing median strip, drainage system, streetlights, a pedestrian walkway and decorative shrubs It will have six lanes for cars and two lanes for motorbikes and be able to withstand 11 tonnes per axle. Lao World Real Estate Company and Tangchaleun Group will invest the initial cost upfront and the government will repay the companies over a seven year period.