Two more bridges linking Thailand and Lao PDR over the Mekong River are in the pipeline. When completed, they will raise the total number of bridges between the two countries to fours.
The first Thai-Lao Friendship Bridge over the Mekong linking the Thai province of Nong Khai and Lao PDR. capital of Vientiane was opened in 1994 with Australian funding.
The second Thai-Lao Friendship Bridge linking the Lao province of Savannakhet with northeastern Thailand's Mukdahan province was opened in 2006.
As both bridges are international border checkpoints, they are playing a major role in promoting cross-border travel and trade. Over time, they will facilitate significant movements by overland visitors throughout the Greater Mekong Subregion countries. In 2009, Laos visitor arrivals to Thailand totalled 639,692 up 2.92% over 2008.
The Third Thai–Lao Friendship Bridge
The 630 metre long and 16.7 metre wide bridge will link Nakhon Phanom province in Thailand with Thakhek, Khammouane in Lao PDR. The foundation stone was laid on 6 March, 2009, and construction is expected to take around 30 months. The project starts from Highway No. 212 in Thailand and connects to Road Number 13 in Lao PDR, a total of 5.2 kms in lenght.
The Fourth Thai - Lao Friendship Bridge
The 480 m bridge will link Huayxai district in Lao PDR’s Bokeo province to Chiang Khong in northern Thailand's Chiang Rai province. This bridge will be connected to a section of the Asian Highway that links Lao PDR, China, and Thailand. Construction work will commence in March 2010 and be finished within 30 months. The Chinese and Thai governments have jointly invested around US$ 50 million on a 50 –50 basis,and it is in the form of cooperative shares
The bridge is part of the Greater Mekong Subregion’s North-South Economic Corridor project, linking Chiang Rai province to Kunming, capital of south-west China's Yunnan province via Highway Number 3 in Lao PDR.