It's not that bad at the moment if you can track it right New national highway under construction Transportation and travel from the central to northern parts of Laos will be shorter once a new bypass road linking Vientiane province to Luang Prabang is completed. The 68km-long Kasy-Nan Road , seven metres in width, will link Kasy district in Vientiane province to Nan district in Luang Prabang province. The proposed route is about 79 km shorter than the existing 13 North Road . “In addition, the new road will have fewer curves and drop-offs than the existing one, which means travelling on the Kasy-Nan Road will be safer and less time-consuming,” project director Mr Inpong Soukkhavong said. Surveying work began in 2006. The state-funded road is valued at more than US$60 million (more than 509 billion kip). It is approximately 26 percent complete and expected to be finished by 2013. Once the new road is complete, it is expected that it will boost economic growth through transport service. While the new road is expected to be more popular among road users, Mr Inpong said the existing 13 North Road would still play an important role for travellers, especially for tourism purposes. “Once the road is complete and opened for use, it will be the main transport and travel channel, as it is safer, saves time and cuts transport costs,” Mr Inpong told Vientiane Times. However, major work on the new road construction has been temporarily stopped during rainy season. According to Office Head of the road construction company, Mr Phouvanh Kongkeo, the road does not cut through Phoukhoun ( Khoun Mountain ) like the 13 North Road , avoiding the resulting dangerous curves and high cliffs. He said the route of the new road was flatter, including through Thongphachia, rather than the more mountainous areas of the present road. “Due to its shorter distance with fewer curves, traveling along the new road will be faster,” Mr Phouvanh said It is and it'sexpected to take only about two hours from Kasy to Luang Prabang instead of about four hours as on the existing 13 North Road,” he said. Mr Phouvanh believes that the new road will reduce the number of accidents among travelers to the north. Construction of the new road is also seen as a means of improving transport links to an important tourist attraction, the historical Khounlang cave in Kasy district. Major work on the new road construction has been temporarily stopped for the rainy season.