Khounkham, May 24, 2019OldNamHaiBridgeW

Work has begun on a new bridge across the Hai River in Khounkham district, Khammouane, with the Theun-Hinboun Power Company (THPC) responding to local requests for better infrastructure. The new 50-metre long bridge, located near Nakham village on the road to Konglor Cave, will cost over US$800,000 and is expected to be ready for use in June 2020.

The bridge will replace an existing structure installed by THPC in 1996 to aid construction of the first Theun-Hinboun hydropower project. Following completion of that project, the district and provincial governments asked the company to leave the bridge in place as it made crossing the Nam Hai much easier for local people.

Over the last 20 years THPC has funded repairs to the bridge on several occasions as a contribution to the community. However, traffic along the road has increased dramatically in recent years, particularly with the growth of Konglor Cave as a tourist attraction and major contributor to the local economy. The old Bailey-style bridge is no longer fit for purpose and local authorities once more asked THPC for assistance.

THPC’s minority shareholders, GMS Power International and SN Power of Norway, agreed to support the district and local villages by funding the design and construction of a new bridge. THPC is administering their donation while supplying supervision services in partnership with Khammouane Province. The new design will support a double-lane road and pedestrian walkway and will be built just upstream of the existing bridge, requiring construction of over 300 metres of additional road to connect with the existing highway.

Following a tendering process the bridge contract was awarded to a partnership between Road No.8 Construction Enterprise and Tay Truong Son Construction.

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