found this online. What this will do is open a more direct road for access to northern Vietnam and take out one more ferry crossing. With the bridge at Houei Xai scheduled, this will leave only Paksan as the only ferry crossing. Now if bikes are permitted, there is a different story but with a 3 year completion schedule, push it to 5 years and things change. From the Inquirer, Philippine paper: BANGKOK -- Thailand's cabinet Tuesday approved a $40-million project to build a third bridge across the Mekong River to neighboring Laos, a spokesman said. "The cabinet approved 1.347 billion baht for the Thai highway department to build the bridge connecting the northeastern Thai province of Nakhon Phanom, 740 kilometers (460 miles) from here, and Kammuan town" in southern Laos, government spokesman Chaiya Yimwilai told reporters. Construction is set to begin in 2008 and will take three years to complete. The project is entirely funded by Thailand, and is considered economic aid to Laos. The first bridge linking Thailand with landlocked Laos opened in 1994, connecting Thailand's northeastern Nong Khai province and the Laotian capital Vientiane. A second bridge opened one year ago linking Thailand's Mukdahan province and Savannakhet province in southern Laos.