Lao authorities express confidence that the construction of the second Friendship Bridge, linking Savannakhet on the Lao side and Mukdahan on the Thai side, will be completed by the end of 2006 as scheduled, despite a three-month delay because of a crane accident in mid 2005.
Officials say the Japanese company building the bridge has injected more money as well as human resources into the project in order to make up for lost time.
Bad weather caused a heavy crane to snap and fall on the bridge in July 2005, causing part of the bridge to collapse and killing several crew including a Japanese engineer.
The Japanese government provides a soft loan worth almost $80 million to Laos and Thailand to finance the project. Linking Thailand, Laos, and Vietnam, the bridge will be part of the East-West Corridor, that officials hope will help to increase trade between the three neighbors.
Listen to our Laos Today report for details.